1972 NFL season


1972 NFL season

Infobox NFL
year = 1972
NFLchampion = Miami Dolphins
regular_season = September 17 1972 - December 17 1972
playoffs_start = December 23 1972
AFCchampion = Miami Dolphins
NFCchampion = Washington Redskins
sb_name = VII
sb_date = January 14 1973
sb_site = L.A. Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
pb_date = January 21 1973

The 1972 NFL season was the 53rd regular season of the National Football League. The Miami Dolphins became the first NFL team to finish a championship season undefeated and untied when they beat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII.

Major rule changes

*The inbounds lines or hashmarks were moved closer to the center of the field, 23 yards, 1 foot, 9 inches from the sidelines. The hashmarks are now 18 feet, 6 inches apart (the same width as the goalposts), cutting down on severe angles for short field goal attempts.
*If a legal receiver goes out of bounds, either accidentally or forced out, and returns to touch or catch the pass in bounds, the penalty is a loss of down (but no penalty yardage will be assessed).
*If a punt or missed field goal crosses the receivers' goal line, a member of the receiving team may advance the ball into the field of play.
*All fouls committed by the offensive team behind the line of scrimmage will be assessed from the previous spot.
*Tie games, previously not counted, were made equal to a half-game won and a half-game loss.

Division races

Starting in 1970, and until 2002, there were three divisions (Eastern, Central and Western) in each conference. The winners of each division, and a fourth "wild card" team based on the best non-division winner, qualified for the playoffs. The tiebraker rules were changed to start with head-to-head competition, followed by division records, common opponents records, and conference play.

National Football Conference


Playoffs

:Note: Prior to the 1975 season, the home teams in the playoffs were decided based on a yearly rotation.Round8
RD1=Divisional Playoffs
RD2=Conf. Championship Games
RD3=Super Bowl VII
December 24 - Miami Orange Bowl|Cleveland Browns|14|Miami Dolphins|20
December 23 - Three Rivers Stadium|Oakland Raiders|7|Pittsburgh Steelers|13
December 23 - Candlestick Park|Dallas Cowboys|30|San Francisco 49ers|28
December 24 - RFK Stadium|Green Bay Packers|3|Washington Redskins|16
December 31 - Three Rivers Stadium|Miami Dolphins|21|Pittsburgh Steelers|17
December 31 - RFK Stadium|Dallas Cowboys|3|Washington Redskins|26
January 14L.A. Coliseum|Miami Dolphins|14|Washington Redskins|7

ee also

* "Perfect Season"

References

* "NFL Record and Fact Book" (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
* [http://www.nfl.com/history/chronology/1971-1980 NFL History 1971-1980] (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
* [http://nflhistory.net/linescores/pdf/1972.pdf 1972 season in details]
* "Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League" (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)

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