2004 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 9, 2004 – January 2, 2005
Playoffs
Start dateJanuary 8, 2005
AFC ChampionsNew England Patriots
NFC ChampionsPhiladelphia Eagles
Super Bowl XXXIX
DateFebruary 6, 2005
SiteALLTEL Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida
ChampionsNew England Patriots
Pro Bowl
DateFebruary 13, 2005
SiteAloha Stadium
2004 NFL season is located in the United States
Patriots
Patriots
Bills
Bills
Dolphins
Dolphins
Jets
Jets
Bengals
Bengals
Ravens
Ravens
Steelers
Steelers
Browns
Browns
Colts
Colts
Titans
Titans
Jaguars
Jaguars
Texans
Texans
Broncos
Broncos
Chiefs
Chiefs
Raiders
Raiders
Chargers
Chargers
AFC teams:
Yellow ffff00 pog.svg
West,
Blue pog.svg
North,
Red pog.svg
South,
White pog.svg
East
2004 NFL season is located in the United States
Cowboys
Cowboys
Giants
Giants
Eagles
Eagles
Redskins
Redskins
Bears
Bears
Lions
Lions
Packers
Packers
Vikings
Vikings
Falcons
Falcons
Panthers
Panthers
Saints
Saints
Buccaneers
Buccaneers
Cardinals
Cardinals
Rams
Rams
Seahawks
Seahawks
49ers
49ers
NFC teams:
Yellow ffff00 pog.svg
West,
Blue pog.svg
North,
Red pog.svg
South,
White pog.svg
East

The 2004 NFL season was the 85th regular season of the National Football League.

With New England as the defending league champions, regular season play was held from September 9, 2004 to January 2, 2005. Hurricanes forced the rescheduling of two Miami home games: the game against Tennessee was moved up one day to Saturday, September 11 to avoid oncoming Hurricane Ivan, while the game versus Pittsburgh on Sunday, September 26 was moved back 7½ hours to miss the eye of Hurricane Jeanne.

The playoffs began on January 8, and eventually New England repeated as NFL champions when they defeated Philadelphia in Super Bowl XXXIX at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on February 6.

Transactions

Draft

The 2004 NFL Draft was held from April 24 to 25, 2004 at New York City's Theater at Madison Square Garden. With the first pick, the San Diego Chargers selected quarterback Eli Manning from the University of Mississippi.

Referee changes

Ron Blum returned to line judge (where he officiated Super Bowl XXIV and Super Bowl XXVI), and Bill Vinovich was promoted to take his place as referee.

Midway through the season, Johnny Grier, the NFL's first African-American referee, suffered a leg injury that forced him to retire. He was permanently replaced by the back judge on his crew, Scott Green, who had previous experience as a referee in NFL Europe.

Major rule changes

2004 deaths

Final regular season standings

Tiebreakers

Playoffs

Main article: 2004–05 NFL playoffs

Within each conference, the four division winners and the two wild card teams (the top two non-division winners with the best overall regular season records) qualified for the playoffs. The four division winners are seeded 1 through 4 based on their overall won-lost-tied record, and the wild card teams are seeded 5 and 6. The NFL does not use a fixed bracket playoff system, and there are no restrictions regarding teams from the same division matching up in any round. In the first round, dubbed the wild-card playoffs or wild-card weekend, the third-seeded division winner hosts the sixth seed wild card, and the fourth seed hosts the fifth. The 1 and 2 seeds from each conference then receive a bye in the first round. In the second round, the divisional playoffs, the number 1 seed hosts the worst surviving seed from the first round (seed 4, 5, or 6), while the number 2 seed will play the other team (seed 3, 4, or 5). The two surviving teams from each conference's divisional playoff games then meet in the respective AFC and NFC Conference Championship games, hosted by the higher seed. Although the Super Bowl, the fourth and final round of the playoffs, is played at a neutral site, the designated home team is based on an annual rotation by conference.

Playoff seeds
Seed AFC NFC
1 Pittsburgh Steelers (North winner) Philadelphia Eagles (East winner)
2 New England Patriots (East winner) Atlanta Falcons (South winner)
3 Indianapolis Colts (South winner) Green Bay Packers (North winner)
4 San Diego Chargers (West winner) Seattle Seahawks (West winner)
5 New York Jets (wild card) St. Louis Rams (wild card)
6 Denver Broncos (wild card) Minnesota Vikings (wild card)


The Miami Dolphins were the first team to be eliminated from the playoff race, having reached a 1–9 record by week 11.[2]

Bracket

Jan 9 – RCA Dome Jan 16 – Gillette Stadium
6 Denver 24
3 Indianapolis 3
3 Indianapolis 49 Jan 23 – Heinz Field
2 New England 20
AFC
Jan 8 – Qualcomm Stadium 2 New England 41
Jan 15 – Heinz Field
1 Pittsburgh 27
5 NY Jets 20* AFC Championship
5 NY Jets 17
4 San Diego 17 Feb 6 – Alltel Stadium
1 Pittsburgh 20*
Wild Card playoffs
Divisional playoffs
Jan 8 – Qwest Field A2 New England 24
Jan 15 – Georgia Dome
N1 Philadelphia 21
5 St. Louis 27 Super Bowl XXXIX
5 St. Louis 17
4 Seattle 20 Jan 23 – Lincoln Financial Field
2 Atlanta 47
NFC
Jan 9 – Lambeau Field 2 Atlanta 10
Jan 16 – Lincoln Financial Field
1 Philadelphia 27
6 Minnesota 31 NFC Championship
6 Minnesota 14
3 Green Bay 17
1 Philadelphia 27


* Indicates overtime victory

Milestones

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

Record Player/team Date/opponent Previous record holder[3]
Longest interception return Ed Reed, Baltimore (106 yards) November 7, vs Cleveland Tied by 2 players (103)
Most touchdown passes, season Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (49) N/A Dan Marino, Miami, 1984 (48)
Highest passer rating, season Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (121.1) Steve Young, San Francisco, 1994 (112.8)
Most interception return yards gained, season Ed Reed, Baltimore (358) Charlie McNeil, San Diego, 1961 (349)
Most first downs by a team, season Kansas City (398) Miami, 1994 (387)
Most consecutive games won New England (21) October 24, vs. N.Y. Jets Chicago, 1933–34 (17)
Most passing touchdowns by a team, season Indianapolis (51) N/A Miami, 1984 (49)

The Colts led the NFL with 522 points scored. The Colts tallied more points in the first half of each of their games of the 2004 NFL season (277 points) than seven other NFL teams managed in the entire season.[4] Despite throwing for 49 touchdown passes, Peyton Manning attempted fewer than 500 passes for the first time in his NFL career.[5] The San Francisco 49ers' record 420 consecutive scoring games that had started in Week 5 of the 1977 season ended in Week 2 of the season.

Statistical leaders

Team

Points scored Indianapolis Colts (522)
Total yards gained Kansas City Chiefs (6,695)
Yards rushing Atlanta Falcons (2,672)
Yards passing Indianapolis Colts (4,623)
Fewest points allowed Pittsburgh Steelers (251)
Fewest total yards allowed Pittsburgh Steelers (4,134)
Fewest rushing yards allowed Pittsburgh Steelers (1,299)
Fewest passing yards allowed Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2,579)
Playoff chasers the New York Jets against Miami in 2004, week 8 MNF
Playoff chasers the New York Jets against Miami in 2004, week 8 MNF

Individual

Scoring Adam Vinatieri, New England (141 points)
Touchdowns Shaun Alexander, Seattle (20 TDs)
Most field goals made Adam Vinatieri, New England (31 FGs)
Passing Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota (4717 yards)
Passing Touchdowns Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (49 TDs)
Passer Rating Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (121.1 rating)
Rushing Curtis Martin, New York Jets (1,697 yards)
Rushing Touchdowns LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (17 TDs)
Receptions Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City (102)
Receiving yards Muhsin Muhammad, Carolina (1,405)
Punt returns Eddie Drummond, Detroit (13.2 average yards)
Kickoff returns Willie Ponder, New York Giants (26.9 average yards)
Interceptions Ed Reed, Baltimore (9)
Punting Shane Lechler, Oakland (46.7 average yards)
Sacks Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis (16)

Awards

Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning, quarterback, Indianapolis
Coach of the Year Marty Schottenheimer, San Diego
Offensive Player of the Year Peyton Manning, quarterback, Indianapolis
Defensive Player of the Year Ed Reed, safety, Baltimore
Offensive Rookie of the Year Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh
Defensive Rookie of the Year Jonathan Vilma, linebacker, New York Jets
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Drew Brees, quarterback, San Diego
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Warrick Dunn, running back, Atlanta
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Deion Branch, wide receiver, New England

Coaching changes

Stadium changes

New uniforms

Notes

  1. ^ "Redskins cut four, including Smith". ESPN Sports. February 24, 2004. Retrieved January 22, 2009.
  2. ^ Strauss, Chris (November 16, 2014). "The Oakland Raiders are officially eliminated from playoff contention". USA Today. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  3. ^ "Records". 2005 NFL Record and Fact Book. NFL. 2005. ISBN 978-1-932994-36-0.
  4. ^ Ferraro, Michael X.; Veneziano, John (2007). Numbelievable!. Chicago: Triumph Books. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-57243-990-0.
  5. ^ Ferraro, Michael X.; Veneziano, John (2007). Numbelievable!. Chicago: Triumph Books. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-57243-990-0.
  6. ^ Gardner, Jim (November 28, 2005). "Fans unclear on main Monster in 49ers lineup". San Francisco Business Times.

References