1974 NFL season

Infobox NFL
year = 1974
NFLchampion = Pittsburgh Steelers
regular_season = September 15 1974 - December 15 1974
playoffs_start = December 21 1974
AFCchampion = Pittsburgh Steelers
NFCchampion = Minnesota Vikings
sb_name = IX
sb_date = January 12 1975
sb_site = Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana
pb_date = January 20 1975

The 1974 NFL season was the 55th regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl IX when the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Minnesota Vikings.

Major rule changes

The following changes were adopted to add tempo and action to the game (and to help counter the proposed changes announced by the World Football League to their games):
*One sudden death overtime period (15 minutes) was added to all preseason and regular season games; if no team scored in this period, the game would result in a tie. This rule was enacted to decrease the number of tie games. The first ever regular season overtime, a September 22 game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos, ended in a 35-35 draw. It was not until November 10, when the New York Jets defeated the New York Giants, 26-20, that an overtime game would produce a winner.
*Goal posts: moved from the goal line to the end line, where they were in 1932. This was to reduce the number of games being decided on field goals, and to increase their difficulty. Not to mention reduce the risk of player injuries. Uprights were extended to 30 feet above the crossbar.
*Missed field goals: If the line of scrimmage was beyond the 20-yard line, the defensive team takes possession of the ball at that point. (In 1994, the ball would be placed at spot of the missed kick.) If this point was inside the 20-yard line, the defensive team takes possession of the ball at the 20-yard line (touchback).
*Kickoffs: moved to the 35-yard line (from the 40-yard line) to reduce touchbacks, promoting more excitement with kickoff returns. In 1994, the kickoff would be moved further back, to the 30-yard line.
*Punt returns: members of the kicking team cannot go beyond the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked.
*An eligible pass receiver can only be contacted once by defenders after the receiver has gone 3 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.
*When the defensive team commits an illegal use of hands, arms, or body foul from behind the line of scrimmage, the penalty will be assessed from the previous spot instead of the spot of the foul.
*The penalties for offensive holding, illegal use of hands, and tripping were reduced from 15-yards to 10-yards.
*Wide receivers blocking back towards the ball within three yards from the line of scrimmage may not block below the waist.

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


*New England finished ahead of N.Y. Jets in the AFC East based on better record against common opponents (5-4 to Jets' 4-5).
*Houston finished ahead of Cincinnati in the AFC Central based on head-to-head sweep (2-0).
*Kansas City finished ahead of San Diego in the AFC West based on better record against common opponents (4-6 to Chargers' 3-7).
*St. Louis finished ahead of Washington in the NFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2-0).


: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 IX
December 22 - Three Rivers Stadium|Buffalo Bills|14|Pittsburgh Steelers|32
December 21 - Oakland Coliseum|Miami Dolphins|26|Oakland Raiders|28
December 22 - L.A. Coliseum|Washington Redskins|10|Los Angeles Rams|19
December 21 - Metropolitan Stadium|St. Louis Cardinals|14|Minnesota Vikings|30
December 29 - Oakland Coliseum|Pittsburgh Steelers|24|Oakland Raiders|13
December 29 - Metropolitan Stadium|Los Angeles Rams|10|Minnesota Vikings|14
January 12 - Tulane Stadium|Pittsburgh Steelers|16|Minnesota Vikings|6


* "NFL Record and Fact Book" (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
* [http://nflhistory.net/linescores/pdf/1974.pdf 1974 season in details]
* [http://www.nfl.com/history/chronology/1971-1980 NFL History 1971-1980] (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
* "Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League" (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 1974 St. Louis Cardinals (NFL) season — Infobox NFL season team = St. Louis Cardinals year = 1974 record = 10 4 division place = NFC East, 1st coach = Don Coryell stadium = Busch Memorial Stadium playoffs = Lost NFC Divisional Playoff previous = 1973 next = 1975The 1974 St. Louis… …   Wikipedia

  • 1974 NFL Draft — The 1974 National Football League Draft was held on January 29–30, 1974.During this draft, it is considered by experts that the Pittsburgh Steelers had the best draft in NFL history. It was during this draft that they selected 4 Hall of Famers.… …   Wikipedia

  • NFL season ticket waiting lists — The National Football League has enjoyed success in selling out many of their venues from season ticket sales alone. Out of 32 teams in the league, 24 claim to have waiting lists from under 1,000 people to over 150,000. For some fans, this means… …   Wikipedia

  • 2008 NFL season — 2008 National Football League season The NFL s newly revamped shield. Regular season Duration September 4[1 …   Wikipedia

  • 2009 NFL season — 2009 National Football League season Regular season Duration September 10, 2009 – January 3, 2010 Playoffs Start date January 9, 2010 AFC Champions Indianapolis Colts NFC Champions …   Wikipedia

  • 2010 NFL season — 2010 National Football League season Regular season Duration September 9, 2010 – January 2, 2011 Playoffs Start date January 8, 2011 – January 23, 2011[1] AFC Champions …   Wikipedia

  • 2006 NFL season — 2006 National Football League season Regular season Duration September 7, 2006 (2006 09 07) – December 31, 2006 Playoffs Start date January 6, 2007 AFC Champions …   Wikipedia

  • 2005 NFL season — 2005 National Football League season Regular season Duration September 8, 2005 – January 1, 2006 Playoffs Start date January 7, 2006 AFC Champions Pittsburgh Steelers NFC Champions …   Wikipedia

  • 1973 NFL season — Infobox NFL year = 1973 NFLchampion = Miami Dolphins regular season = September 16 1973 December 16 1973 playoffs start = December 22 1973 AFCchampion = Miami Dolphins NFCchampion = Minnesota Vikings sb name = VIII sb date = January 13 1974 sb… …   Wikipedia

  • 1966 NFL season — Infobox NFL year = 1966 NFLchampion = Green Bay Packers Eastchampion = Dallas Cowboys Westchampion = Green Bay Packers regular season = September 10, 1966 December 18, 1966The 1966 NFL season was the 47th regular season of the National Football… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.