1988 NFL season


1988 NFL season

Infobox NFL
year = 1988
NFLchampion = San Francisco 49ers
regular_season = September 4 1988-December 19 1988
playoffs_start = December 24 1988
AFCchampion = Cincinnati Bengals
NFCchampion = San Francisco 49ers
sb_name = XXIII
sb_date = January 22 1989
sb_site = Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, Florida
pb_date = January 29 1989

The 1988 NFL season was the 69th regular season of the National Football League. The Cardinals relocated from St. Louis, Missouri to the Phoenix, Arizona area becoming the Phoenix Cardinals but remained in the NFC East division.

The season ended with Super Bowl XXIII when the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals.

Major rule changes

*A standard system of two time intervals between plays are established (and would be timed using the Play Clock): For normal plays, the offensive team has 45 seconds to snap the ball after the previous play is signaled dead. After time outs and other administrative stoppages, the time limit is 30 seconds beginning after the Referee signals that the ball is ready to resume play.
*If a fumble occurs during an extra point attempt, only the fumbling player can recover and/or advance the ball. This change closes a loophole in the "Stabler Fumble Rule" that was enacted during the 1979 NFL season in reaction to the Holy Roller Game.
*The penalty for "Running into the kicker" is changed from five yards and a first down to just 5 yards.
*Referees were outfitted with white hats while all other officials wore black hats, which was the standard practice in college and high school football. From 1979 through 1987, referees wore black hats while all other officials wore white hats.

Final standings

"W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT = Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against"

"Green-shaded teams clinched playoff berths"
"x - clinched wild card berth, y - clinched division title"


Tiebreakers

*Cincinnati was the top AFC playoff seed ahead of Buffalo based on head-to-head victory (1-0).
*Indianapolis finished ahead of New England in the AFC East based on better record against common opponents (7-5 to Patriots' 6-6).
*Cleveland finished ahead of Houston in the AFC Central based on better division record (4-2 to Oilers' 3-3).
*San Francisco was the second NFC playoff seed ahead of Philadelphia on better record against common opponents (6-3 to Eagles' 5-4)
*Philadelphia finished first in the NFC East based on head-to-head sweep of N.Y. Giants (2-0).
*Washington finished third in the NFC East based on better division record (4-4) than Phoenix (3-5).
*Detroit finished fourth in the NFC Central based on head-to-head sweep of Green Bay (2-0).
*San Francisco finished first in the NFC West based on better head-to-head record (3-1) against L.A. Rams (2-2) and New Orleans (1-3).
*L.A. Rams finished second in the NFC West based on better division record (4-2) than New Orleans (3-3), and earned the last NFC Wild Card based on better conference record (8-4) than N.Y. Giants (9-5) and New Orleans (6-6).

Playoffs

:"Home team in capitals"

AFC

*Wild-Card playoff: Houston 24, CLEVELAND 23
*Divisional playoffs: CINCINNATI 21, Seattle 13; BUFFALO 17, Houston 10
*AFC Championship: CINCINNATI 21, Buffalo 10 at Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio, January 8, 1989

NFC

*Wild-Card playoff: MINNESOTA 28, L.A. Rams 17
*Divisional playoffs: CHICAGO 20, Philadelphia 12; SAN FRANCISCO 34, Minnesota 9
*NFC Championship: San Francisco 28, CHICAGO 3 at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois, January 8, 1989

uper Bowl

*Super Bowl XXIII: San Francisco (NFC) 20, Cincinnati (AFC) 16, at Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, Florida, January 22, 1989

References

* "NFL Record and Fact Book" (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
* [http://www.nfl.com/history/chronology/1981-1990 NFL History 1981-1990] (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
* [http://nflhistory.net/linescores/pdf/1988.pdf 1988 season in details]
* "Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League" (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)


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