1984 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 2 – December 17, 1984
Start dateDecember 23, 1984
AFC ChampionsMiami Dolphins
NFC ChampionsSan Francisco 49ers
Super Bowl XIX
DateJanuary 20, 1985
SiteStanford Stadium, Stanford, California
ChampionsSan Francisco 49ers
Pro Bowl
DateJanuary 27, 1985
SiteAloha Stadium
The 49ers playing against the Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX.
The 49ers playing against the Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX.

The 1984 NFL season was the 65th regular season of the National Football League. The Colts relocated from Baltimore, Maryland to Indianapolis, Indiana before the season.

The season ended with Super Bowl XIX when the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins 38–16 at Stanford Stadium in California. This was the first Super Bowl televised by ABC, who entered into the annual championship game rotation with CBS and NBC. This game marked the second shortest distance between the Super Bowl host stadium (Stanford, California) and a Super Bowl team (San Francisco 49ers).[1]

The 49ers became the first team in NFL history to win 15 games in a regular season and to win 18 in an entire season (including the postseason). Additionally, two major offensive records were set this season, with quarterback Dan Marino establishing a new single-season passing yards record with 5,084 (later broken by Drew Brees in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016, by Tom Brady in 2011, by Peyton Manning in 2013, by Ben Roethlisberger and Patrick Mahomes in 2018 and by Jameis Winston in 2019) and Eric Dickerson establishing a new single-season rushing yards record with 2,105. Another statistical record broken was Mark Gastineau for most sacks in a single season, with 22 (surpassed by Michael Strahan in 2001).

Also during the season, San Diego Chargers wide receiver Charlie Joiner became the all-time leader in career receptions; he set that mark in a game between the Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium.

In a week 10 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Seattle Seahawks set numerous NFL records for interception returns, including most interception return yardage in a game and most interceptions returned for touchdowns in a game with 4 (all touchdowns over 50 yards in length). The Seahawks also tied an NFL record with 63 defensive takeaways on the season.

Salaries increased significantly over the past two seasons in the NFL, up nearly fifty percent; new Houston Oilers quarterback Warren Moon led the list at $1.1 million.[2]

Player movement





The 1984 NFL Draft was held from May 1 to May 2, 1984 at New York City's Omni Park Central Hotel. With the first pick, the New England Patriots selected wide receiver Irving Fryar from the University of Nebraska.

Supplemental draft of USFL and CFL players

Main article: 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL players

In an attempt to head off a bidding war within its own ranks for United States Football League and Canadian Football League players, a one-time supplemental draft of USFL and CFL players was held on June 5, 1984. This supplemental draft was especially designed for players who would have been eligible for the regular NFL draft but had already signed a contract with a USFL team after being selected in 1984 USFL Draft earlier on January 4. NFL owners did not want to risk potentially "wasting" picks in the regular draft on players who were already signed by another league, but also wanted to ensure there would not be a large influx of free agent talent in case the new rival league suddenly collapsed. With the first pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected quarterback Steve Young from BYU, who previously was selected by the Los Angeles Express with the 11th pick in the USFL Draft. Young would eventually join the Buccaneers in summer 1985 soon after the Express suspended operations.[6][7][8][9]

Major rule changes

1984 deaths


The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, in which the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38–0, was contested on July 28, 1984 and held at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, the same city where the league was founded. The 1984 Hall of Fame Class included Willie Brown, Mike McCormack, Charley Taylor and Arnie Weinmeister.

Regular season

Scheduling formula

AFC East vs NFC East
AFC Central vs NFC West
AFC West vs NFC Central

Highlights of the 1984 season included:

Final standings



Main article: 1984–85 NFL playoffs

Dec. 30 – Mile High Stadium
3 Pittsburgh 24
Dec. 22 – Kingdome Jan. 6 – Miami Orange Bowl
2 Denver 17
5 LA Raiders 7 3 Pittsburgh 28
Dec. 29 – Miami Orange Bowl
4 Seattle 13 1 Miami 45
AFC Championship
4 Seattle 10
Jan. 20 – Stanford Stadium
1 Miami 31
Divisional playoffs
Wild Card playoffs A1 Miami 16
Dec. 30 – RFK Stadium
N1 San Francisco 38
Super Bowl XIX
3 Chicago 23
Dec. 23 – Anaheim Stadium Jan. 6 – Candlestick Park
2 Washington 19
5 NY Giants 16 3 Chicago 0
Dec. 29 – Candlestick Park
4 LA Rams 13 1 San Francisco 23
NFC Championship
5 NY Giants 10
1 San Francisco 21

Notable events


Walter Payton (34) pictured breaking the NFL's career rushing record on October 7, 1984..
Walter Payton (34) pictured breaking the NFL's career rushing record on October 7, 1984..
Eric Dickerson pictured in his record-breaking 1984 season, where he set the NFL record for most rushed yards.
Eric Dickerson pictured in his record-breaking 1984 season, where he set the NFL record for most rushed yards.

The following players set all-time records during the season:

Most Passing Yards Gained, Season Dan Marino, Miami (5,084)
Most Passing Touchdowns, Season Dan Marino, Miami (48)
Most Passes Completed, Season Dan Marino, Miami (362)
Most Rushing Yards Gained, Season Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (2,105)
Most Rushing Attempts, Season James Wilder Sr., Tampa Bay (407)
Most Pass Receptions, Season Art Monk, Washington (106)
Most Receiving Touchdowns, Season Mark Clayton, Miami (18)
Most Extra Points Made, Season Uwe von Schamann, Miami (66)
Most Extra Point Attempts, Season Uwe von Schamann, Miami (70)
Most Sacks, Season Mark Gastineau, New York Jets (22.0)
Most Rushing Yards Gained, Career Walter Payton, Chicago (13,309 at the end of the season)
Most Receptions, Career Charlie Joiner, San Diego (657 at the end of the season)

Statistical leaders


Points scored Miami Dolphins (513)
Total yards gained Miami Dolphins (6,936)
Yards rushing Chicago Bears (2,974)
Yards passing Miami Dolphins (5,018)
Fewest points allowed San Francisco 49ers (227)
Fewest total yards allowed Chicago Bears (3,863)
Fewest rushing yards allowed Chicago Bears (1,377)
Fewest passing yards allowed New Orleans Saints (2,453)


Most Valuable Player Dan Marino, Quarterback, Miami
Coach of the Year Chuck Knox, Seattle
Offensive Player of the Year Dan Marino, Quarterback, Miami
Defensive Player of the Year Kenny Easley, Safety, Seattle
Offensive Rookie of the Year Louis Lipps, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh
Defensive Rookie of the Year Bill Maas, Defensive Tackle, Kansas City
Man of the Year Marty Lyons, Defensive tackle, NY Jets
Comeback Player of the Year John Stallworth, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Joe Montana, Quarterback, San Francisco

Coaching changes



Stadium changes

The relocated Indianapolis Colts moved from Baltimore's Memorial Stadium to the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis.

The New York Jets moved their home games from Shea Stadium in New York City to Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, sharing it with the Giants.

Uniform changes

Regular season games not broadcast by Network TV

Date Time Teams Local TV Announcers
September 3, 1984 4:00 PM EDT Cleveland @ Seattle WKYC-TV (Cleveland area)
KING-TV(Seattle area)
Phil Stone/Reggie Rucker (WKYC)
Charlie Jones/Gene Washington (KING)
October 14, 1984 4:00 PM EDT Buffalo @ Seattle WKBW-TV (Buffalo area)
KING-TV (Seattle area)
Rick Azar/Marv Levy (WKBW)
Phil Stone/Norris Weese (KING)


  1. ^ The shortest distance was the Los Angeles Rams, whose home was the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before moving to Anaheim the year after playing in Super Bowl XIV vs the Pittsburgh Steelers, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca.
  2. ^ "NFL salaries increasing". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. January 15, 1985. p. 2B.
  3. ^ "Moon to sign rich Oiler Pact". New York Times: By Michael Janofsky, Feb. 4, 1984. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  4. ^ "Oilers Exchange Campbell For Saints' No. 1 Draft Pick". Washington Post. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  5. ^ "The day Terry Bradshaw retired from the Steelers. By Tony Defeo, July 5, 2016". Yahoo Sports Canada. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  6. ^ "NFL will draft 'untouchables'". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. June 5, 1984. p. 4B.
  7. ^ "NFL expresses definite interest in USFL players". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). news services. June 6, 1984. p. 42.
  8. ^ "Oilers take Rozier in supplemental draft". Pittsburgh Press. combined news services. June 5, 1983. p. C5.
  9. ^ "NFL Supplemental Draft". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. June 6, 1984. p. 24.
  10. ^ 100 Things Dolphins Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die, Armando Salguero, Triumph Books, Chicago, 2020, ISBN 978-1-62937-722-3, p.26185
  11. ^ "David Overstreet Killed in Car Crash", New York Times, June 25, 1984
  12. ^ Tapp, Jerry; NFL Teams That Started the Season 0–10
  13. ^ Brown, Chris (June 23, 2011). "Untold uniform stories: Fergie behind helmet color change". BuffaloBills.com. NFL Enterprises, LLC. Retrieved June 30, 2019.