1999 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 12, 1999-January 3, 2000
Start date January 8, 2000
AFC Champions Tennessee Titans
NFC Champions St. Louis Rams
Super Bowl XXXIV
Date January 30, 2000
Site Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Champions St. Louis Rams
Pro Bowl
Date February 6, 2000
Site Aloha Stadium
National Football League seasons
 < 1998 2000 > 

The 1999 NFL season was the 80th regular season of the National Football League. The Cleveland Browns returned to the field for the first time since the 1995 season. Also, the Tennessee Oilers changed its name to Tennessee Titans, and the league retired the name "Oilers" - a first in league history.

The return of the Browns gave the league 31 teams (the first time since about 1966 that the NFL had an odd number of teams). As a result, the NFL was forced to give at least one team a bye each week. Previously, the league never gave a club the week off during the first two weeks or last seven weeks of the season (the only exception being in 1992, when the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots had a bye in week 1 as Hurricane Andrew forced the postponement of their season-opening game to October 18, when their byes were originally scheduled). Under this new system, for ten weeks of the season (Week #1 to Week #2, and Week #10 to Week #17), exactly one team was scheduled a bye; for seven weeks of the season (Week #3 to Week #9), three teams sat out. This format would continue for the next two seasons until the Houston Texans joined the NFL in 2002 and returned the league to an even number of teams.

The start of the 1999 NFL Season was pushed back one week and started the weekend after Labor Day, a change from the previous seasons. Due to the Y2K concerns, the NFL did not want to hold the opening round of the playoffs on Saturday January 1, 2000, and did not want teams traveling on that day. Week 17 games were held on January 2, 2000, and the opening round of the playoff would be scheduled for January 8-9. The bye week before the Super Bowl was removed to accommodate the one-week adjustment. The start of the season after Labor Day would become a regular fixture for future seasons, beginning in 2001.

The St. Louis Rams, who had a losing record for each of the past nine seasons, surprised the entire league by defeating the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.

Major rule changesEdit

  • Clipping is now illegal around the line of scrimmage just as it is on the rest of the field.
  • A new instant replay system (different from the one used from 1986 to 1991) is adopted to aid officiating. The system mirrors a method used by the defunct USFL in 1985:
    • In each game, each team has two challenges that will start a review. Each challenge will require the use of a team's timeout. If the challenge is successful, the timeout is restored.
    • Inside of two minutes of each half, and during all overtime periods, all reviews will be initiated by a Replay Assistant. The Replay Assistant has an unlimited number of reviews, regardless of how many timeouts each team has left. And no timeout will be charged for any review by the Replay Assistant.
    • All replay reviews will be conducted by the referee on a field-level monitor. A decision will be reversed only when there is indisputable visual evidence to overturn the call. The referee has 90 seconds to review the play.
    • The officials will be notified of a replay request or challenge via a specialized electronic pager with a vibrating alert. Each head coach would also have a red flag to use as a backup to get the attention of the officials to challenge a play.
    • The replay system will only cover the following situations:
      • Scoring plays
      • Pass complete/incomplete/intercepted
      • Runner/receiver out of bounds
      • Recovery of a loose ball in or out of bounds
      • Touching of a forward pass, either by an ineligible receiver or a defensive player
      • Quarterback pass or fumble
      • Illegal forward pass
      • Forward or backward pass
      • Runner ruled not down by contact
      • Forward progress in regard to a first down
      • Touching of a kick
      • Too many men on the field

The league also added the following then-minor rule change that became significant in the playoffs a few years later:

When a Team A player is holding the ball to pass it forward, any intentional forward movement of his hand starts a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body. Also, if the player has tucked the ball into his body and then loses possession, it is a fumble.[1]

This new interpretation of a forward pass would later be commonly known as the "Tuck Rule".




  • Cleveland Browns - Team returns as an expansion team after 3 years of absence from the league. Moved into brand new Cleveland Browns Stadium.
  • Tennessee Titans - Moved to brand new stadium in Nashville, TN called Adelphia Coliseum.


  • Baltimore Ravens - New Raven head logo on helmets.
  • Detroit Lions - Removed Honolulu blue color from road uniforms.
  • New Orleans Saints - Black numbers on road uniforms and added black pants with a wide gold stripe to road uniforms.
  • Tennessee Titans - New nickname (from "Oilers" to "Titans"), new logo, new uniforms.

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
(2) Indianapolis Colts 1330.813423333
(5) Buffalo Bills 1150.688320229
(6) Miami Dolphins 970.563326336
New York Jets 880.500308309
New England Patriots 880.500299284
AFC Central
(1) Jacksonville Jaguars 1420.875396217
(4) Tennessee Titans 1330.813392324
Baltimore Ravens 880.500324277
Pittsburgh Steelers 6100.375317320
Cincinnati Bengals 4120.250283460
Cleveland Browns 2140.125217437
AFC West
(3) Seattle Seahawks 970.563338298
Kansas City Chiefs 970.563390322
San Diego Chargers 880.500269316
Oakland Raiders 880.500390329
Denver Broncos 6100.375314318
NFC East
(3) Washington Redskins 1060.625443377
(5) Dallas Cowboys 880.500352276
New York Giants 790.438299358
Arizona Cardinals 6100.375245382
Philadelphia Eagles 5110.313272357
NFC Central
(2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1150.688270235
(4) Minnesota Vikings 1060.625399335
(6) Detroit Lions 880.500322323
Green Bay Packers 880.500357341
Chicago Bears 6100.375272341
NFC West
(1) St. Louis Rams 1330.813526242
Carolina Panthers 880.500421381
Atlanta Falcons 5110.313285380
San Francisco 49ers 4120.250295453
New Orleans Saints 3130.188260434


  • Miami was the third AFC Wild Card ahead of Kansas City based on better record against common opponents (6-1 to Chiefs' 5-3).
  • N.Y. Jets finished ahead of New England in the AFC East based on better division record (4-4 to Patriots' 2-6).
  • Seattle finished ahead of Kansas City in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2-0).
  • San Diego finished ahead of Oakland in the AFC West based on better division record (5-3 to Raiders' 3-5).
  • Dallas was the second NFC Wild Card based on better record against common opponents (3-2 to Lions' 3-3) and better conference record than Carolina (7-5 to Panthers' 6-6).
  • Detroit was the third NFC Wild Card based on better conference record than Green Bay (7-5 to Packers' 6-6) and better conference record than Carolina (7-5 to Panthers' 6-6).


January 8 - FedEx Field   January 15 - Raymond James Stadium          
 6  Detroit  13
 3  Washington  13
 3  Washington  27     January 23 - Trans World Dome
 2  Tampa Bay  14  
January 9 - Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome  2  Tampa Bay  6
January 16 - Trans World Dome
   1  St. Louis  11  
 5  Dallas  10 NFC Championship
 4  Minnesota  37
 4  Minnesota  27   January 30 - Georgia Dome
 1  St. Louis  49  
Wild Card Playoffs  
Divisional Playoffs
January 8 - Adelphia Coliseum  N1  St. Louis  23
January 16 - RCA Dome
   A4  Tennessee  16
 5  Buffalo  16 Super Bowl XXXIV
 4  Tennessee  19
 4  Tennessee  22     January 23 - ALLTEL Stadium
 2  Indianapolis  16  
January 9 - The Kingdome  4  Tennessee  33
January 15 - ALLTEL Stadium
   1  Jacksonville  14  
 6  Miami  20 AFC Championship
 6  Miami  7
 3  Seattle  17  
 1  Jacksonville  62  

This box: view · talk · edit

Music City MiracleEdit

The Music City Miracle is a famous play in the NFL Wild Card Playoffs involving the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills that took place on January 8, 2000 (following the 1999 regular season) at Adelphia Coliseum in Nashville, Tennessee.

Going into the game, Bills coach Wade Phillips created a stir by starting quarterback Rob Johnson, rather than Doug Flutie, who had started 15 games, and who had led the team to the playoffs. Late in the fourth quarter, the stage was set for an exciting finish. Tennessee received the ball with 6:15 remaining. Titans receiver Isaac Byrd's 16-yard punt return and five carries from Eddie George for 17 yards set up a wobbly 36-yard field goal by Del Greco. The Titans took a 15-13 lead with 1:48 to go. On the ensuing drive, with no timeouts remaining, Bills quarterback Johnson led the Bills on a five-play, 37-yard drive to the Titans' 24 yard line. On the last two plays from scrimmage, Johnson played with only one shoe on, as he had lost one and had no time to put it back on, with the clock running out. With only 16 seconds remaining in the game, Steve Christie, the Bills' kicker, made a 41-yard field goal to put Buffalo in the lead, 16-15.

Moments later, Christie kicked off, and Titans player Lorenzo Neal received. Neal handed the ball off to Titans tight end Frank Wycheck, who then lateraled the ball across the field to another Titans player, Kevin Dyson, who then ran down the sidelines for a 75-yard touchdown. The play was named Home Run Throwback by the Titans and was developed by Special Teams Coordinator Alan Lowry. Per the instant replay rules, the play was reviewed by referee Phil Luckett since it was uncertain if the ball had been a forward pass, which is illegal on a kickoff return. However, the call on the field was upheld as a touchdown, and the Titans won the game 22-16. After the game, however, many Bills players and fans continued to insist that it was indeed an illegal forward pass. With this play, the Titans were able to get to the Super Bowl.

Statistical leadersEdit


Points scoredSt. Louis Rams (526)
Total yards gainedSt. Louis Rams (6,412)
Yards rushingSan Francisco 49ers (2,095)
Yards passingSt. Louis Rams (4,353)
Fewest points allowedJacksonville Jaguars (217)
Fewest total yards allowedBuffalo Bills (4,045)
Fewest rushing yards allowedSt. Louis Rams (1,189)
Fewest passing yards allowedBuffalo Bills (2,675)


ScoringMike Vanderjagt, Indianapolis (145 points)
TouchdownsStephen Davis, Washington and Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (17 TDs)
Most field goals madeOlindo Mare, Miami (39 FGs)
RushingEdgerrin James, Indianapolis (1,553 yards)
PassingKurt Warner, St. Louis (109.2 rating)
Passing touchdownsKurt Warner, St. Louis (41 TDs)
Pass receivingJimmy Smith, Jacksonville (116 catches)
Pass receiving yardsMarvin Harrison, Indianapolis (1,663)
Punt returnsCharlie Rogers, Seattle (14.5 average yards)
Kickoff returnsTony Horne, St. Louis (29.7 average yards)
InterceptionsRod Woodson, Baltimore; Sam Madison, Miami; James Hasty, Kansas City; Donnie Abraham, Tampa Bay; and Troy Vincent, Philadelphia (7)
PuntingTom Rouen, Denver (46.5 average yards)
SacksKevin Carter, St. Louis (17)


Most Valuable PlayerKurt Warner, Quarterback, St. Louis
Coach of the YearDick Vermeil, St. Louis
Offensive Player of the YearMarshall Faulk, Running back, St. Louis
Defensive Player of the YearWarren Sapp, Defensive Tackle, Tampa Bay
Offensive Rookie of the YearEdgerrin James, Running Back, Indianapolis
Defensive Rookie of the YearJevon Kearse, Defensive End, Tennessee
NFL Comeback Player of the YearBryant Young, Defensive Tackle, San Francisco

External LinksEdit


  1. Official Rules of the NFL, Rule 3, Section 21, Article 2, Note 2
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.