1999 NFL season

Infobox NFL
year = 1999
NFLchampion = St. Louis Rams
regular_season = September 12, 1999-January 3, 2000
playoffs_start = January 8, 2000
AFCchampion = Tennessee Titans
NFCchampion = St. Louis Rams
sb_name = XXXIV
sb_date = January 30, 2000
sb_site = Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
pb_date = February 6, 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 an odd number of teams (31) for the first time since the 1970 merger. 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. 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 return 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-year 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 changes

*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." [Official Rules of the NFL, Rule 3, Section 21, Article 2, Note 2]

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

Final regular season standings

"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"

Individual

Awards

Notes

References

* "NFL Record and Fact Book" (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
* [http://www.nfl.com/history/chronology/1991-2000 NFL History 1991-2000] (Last accessed October 17, 2005)
* [http://nflhistory.net/linescores/pdf/1999.pdf 1999 season in details]
* "Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League" (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
* [http://www.steelersfever.com/nfl_history_of_rules.html Steelers Fever - History of NFL Rules] (Last accessed October 17, 2005)
* [http://www.nfl.com/news/990526replaytechnology.html NFL introduces Instant Replay technology] (Last accessed November 4, 2005)
* " [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/14/AR2005101401828.html Tuck Rule Hard to Grasp] " by Mark Maske, Washington Post, October 15, 2005 (Last accessed November 4, 2005)


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