1995 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 3, 1995–December 25, 1995
Start date December 30, 1995
AFC Champions Pittsburgh Steelers
NFC Champions Dallas Cowboys
Super Bowl XXX
Date January 28, 1996
Site Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona
Champions Dallas Cowboys
Pro Bowl
Date February 4, 1996
Site Aloha Stadium
National Football League seasons
 < 1994 1996 > 

The 1995 NFL season was the 76th regular season of the National Football League. The league expanded to 30 teams with the addition of the Carolina Panthers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The two expansion teams were slotted into the two remaining divisions that had only four teams (while the other four had five teams): the AFC Central (Jaguars) and the NFC West (Panthers).

Meanwhile, the two teams in Los Angeles relocated to other cities: the Rams transferred to St. Louis and the Raiders moved back to Oakland. During the course of the season it emerged that the Cleveland Browns would relocate to Baltimore for the 1996 season. The Raiders move was not announced until after the schedule had been announced, which resulted in a problem in the third week of the season when both the Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers had games scheduled to air on NBC which ended up overlapping each other.

The season ended with Super Bowl XXX when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers to become the first team in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in four years.

Major rule changesEdit

  • An eligible receiver forced out of bounds by a defensive player may return to the field and automatically become eligible to legally be the first player to touch a forward pass.
  • Quarterbacks may now receive communications from the bench from a small radio receiver in their helmets, partly repealing a rule that had been in force since 1956

Final regular season standingsEdit

W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT = Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against Clinched playoff seeds are marked in parentheses and shaded in green

AFC East
(3) Buffalo Bills 1060.625350335
(5) Indianapolis Colts 970.563331316
(6) Miami Dolphins 970.563398332
New England Patriots 6100.375294377
New York Jets 3130.188233384
AFC Central
(2) Pittsburgh Steelers 1150.688407327
Cincinnati Bengals 790.438349374
Houston Oilers 790.438348324
Cleveland Browns 5110.313289356
Jacksonville Jaguars 4120.250275404
AFC West
(1) Kansas City Chiefs 1330.813358241
(4) San Diego Chargers 970.563321323
Seattle Seahawks 880.500363366
Denver Broncos 880.500388345
Oakland Raiders 880.500348332
NFC East
(1) Dallas Cowboys 1240.750435291
(4) Philadelphia Eagles 1060.625318338
Washington Redskins 6100.375326359
New York Giants 5110.313290340
Arizona Cardinals 4120.250275422
NFC Central
(3) Green Bay Packers 1150.688404314
(5) Detroit Lions 1060.625436336
Chicago Bears 970.563392360
Minnesota Vikings 880.500412385
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 790.438238335
NFC West
(2) San Francisco 49ers 1150.688457258
(6) Atlanta Falcons 970.563362349
St. Louis Rams 790.438309418
Carolina Panthers 790.438289325
New Orleans Saints 790.438319348


  • Indianapolis finished ahead of Miami in the AFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • San Diego was the first AFC Wild Card based on head-to-head victory over Indianapolis (1–0).
  • Cincinnati finished ahead of Houston in the AFC Central based on better division record (4–4 to Oilers' 3–5).
  • Seattle finished ahead of Denver and Oakland in the AFC West based on best head-to-head record (3–1 to Broncos' 2–2 and Raiders' 1–3).
  • Denver finished ahead of Oakland in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • Philadelphia was the first NFC Wild Card ahead of Detroit based on better conference record (9–3 to Lions' 7–5).
  • San Francisco was the second NFC playoff seed ahead of Green Bay based on better conference record (8–4 to Packers' 7–5).
  • Atlanta was the third NFC Wild Card ahead of Chicago based on better record against common opponents (4–2 to Bears' 3–3).
  • St. Louis finished ahead of Carolina and New Orleans in the NFC West based on best head-to-head record (3–1 to Panthers' 1–3 and Saints' 2–2).
  • Carolina finished ahead of New Orleans in the NFC West based on better conference record (4-8 to 3–9).


Home team in capitals Winner in bold


  • Wild-Card playoffs: BUFFALO 37, Miami 22; Indianapolis 35, SAN DIEGO 20
  • Divisional playoffs: PITTSBURGH 40, Buffalo 21; Indianapolis 10, KANSAS CITY 7
  • AFC Championship: PITTSBURGH 20, Indianapolis 16 at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania January 14, 1996


  • Wild-Card playoffs: PHILADELPHIA 58, Detroit 37; GREEN BAY 37, Atlanta 20
  • Divisional playoffs: Green Bay 27, SAN FRANCISCO 17; DALLAS 30, Philadelphia 11
  • NFC Championship: DALLAS 38, Green Bay 27 at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas, January 14, 1996

Super BowlEdit

Statistical leadersEdit


Points scoredSan Francisco 49ers (457)
Total yards gainedDetroit Lions (6,113)
Yards rushingKansas City Chiefs (2,222)
Yards passingSan Francisco 49ers (4,608)
Fewest points allowedKansas City Chiefs (241)
Fewest total yards allowedSan Francisco 49ers (4,398)
Fewest rushing yards allowedSan Francisco 49ers (1,061)
Fewest passing yards allowedNew York Jets (2,740)


ScoringEmmitt Smith, Dallas (150 points)
TouchdownsEmmitt Smith, Dallas (25 TDs)
Most field goals madeNorm Johnson, Pittsburgh (34 FGs)
RushingEmmitt Smith, Dallas (1,773 yards)
PassingJim Harbaugh, Indianapolis (100.7 rating)
Passing touchdownsBrett Favre, Green Bay (38 TDs)
Pass receivingHerman Moore, Detroit (123 catches)
Pass receiving yardsJerry Rice, San Francisco (1,848)
Punt returnsDavid Palmer, Minnesota (13.2 average yards)
Kickoff returnsRon Carpenter, New York Jets (27.7 average yards)
InterceptionsOrlando Thomas, Minnesota (9)
PuntingRick Tuten, Seattle (45.0 average yards)
SacksBryce Paup, Buffalo (17.5)


The following players set all-time records during the season:

Most Touchdowns, season Emmitt Smith, Dallas (25)
Most Passing Attempts, career Dan Marino, Miami (6,531 at the end of the season)
Most Passes Completed, career Dan Marino, Miami (3,913 at the end of the season)
Most Passing Yards, career Dan Marino, Miami (48,841 at the end of the season)
Most Touchdown Passes, career Dan Marino, Miami (352 at the end of the season)
Most Pass Receptions, career Jerry Rice, San Francisco (942 at the end of the season)
Most Pass Receiving Yards Gained, career Jerry Rice, San Francisco (15,123 at the end of the season)


Most Valuable PlayerBrett Favre, Quarterback, Green Bay
Coach of the YearRay Rhodes, Philadelphia
Offensive Player of the YearBrett Favre, Quarterback, Green Bay
Defensive Player of the YearBryce Paup, Linebacker, Buffalo
Offensive Rookie of the YearCurtis Martin, Running Back, New England
Defensive Rookie of the YearHugh Douglas, Defensive End, New York Jets


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