1987 NFL season

1987 NFL season

Infobox NFL
year = 1987
NFLchampion = Washington Redskins
regular_season = September 13 1987-December 28 1987
playoffs_start = January 3 1988
AFCchampion = Denver Broncos
NFCchampion = Washington Redskins
sb_name = XXII
sb_date = January 31 1988
sb_site = Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego, California
pb_date = February 7 1988

The 1987 NFL season was the 68th regular season of the National Football League. A 24-day players' strike reduced the 16-game season to 15. The games that were scheduled for the third week of the season were canceled, but the games for weeks 4-6 were played with replacement players. 85% of the veteran players did not cross picket lines during the strike, putting in question the integrity of the 1987 season results.

The teams put on the field by NFL clubs bared little resemblance to those fans had come to recognize through previous seasons. [ [http://www.nflpa.org/AboutUs/NFLPA_History.aspx#12 Official NFLPA History] ] . Fans tagged the replacement player teams with mock names like "San Francisco Phoney Niners", "New Orleans Saint Elsewheres" and "Seattle Sea-scabs" [ [http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/football/89817_replace04.shtml NFL crossed the line on Replacement Sunday] , By Clare Farnsworth, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Reporter] . Fans responded by turning off. Audiences were off by only 36% in week one, but were falling by an estimated 10% each of the following weeks [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE3DB133EF935A35753C1A961948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1 Games Deserved to Be Shown] , by Michael Goodwin, New York Times, October 6, 1987.] . The Super Bowl XXI Champion New York Giants went 0-3 in replacement games, ultimately costing them a chance to make the playoffs and repeat their championship.

Starting on November 8, 1987, ESPN debuted "ESPN Sunday Night Football", in which the cable network started to broadcast NFL Sunday night games primarily during the second half of the season.

Due to Game 7 of the 1987 World Series, the Denver Broncos - Minnesota Vikings game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome was moved back one day to Monday, October 26.

The season ended with Super Bowl XXII when the Washington Redskins defeated the Denver Broncos.

Major rule changes

*If a defensive player commits pass interference in his own end zone, the ball is placed at the 1-yard line, or if the previous spot was inside the 2-yard line, the penalty is half the distance to the goal line.
*Except for the first onside kick attempt, if a kickoff goes out of bounds, the receiving team takes possession of the ball 30 yards from the spot of the kick or the spot it went out of bounds.
*In order to stop the clock, the quarterback is permitted to throw the ball out of bounds or to the ground as long as he throws it immediately after receiving the snap.
*During passing plays, an offensive player cannot chop block (block a defender below the thigh while the defensive player is already engaging another offensive player).
*Illegal contact by a defensive player beyond the 5-yard zone from the line of scrimmage will not be called if the offensive team is in an obvious punt formation.
*During kicks and punts, players on the receiving team cannot block below the waist. However, players on the kicking team may block below the waist, but only before the kick is made. On all other plays after a change of possession, no player can block below the waist.

Final standings

"W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT = Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against"

"Green-shaded teams clinched playoff berths"
"x - clinched wild card berth, y - clinched division title"


* "NFL Record and Fact Book" (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
* [http://www.nfl.com/history/chronology/1981-1990 NFL History 1981-1990] (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
* [http://nflhistory.net/linescores/pdf/1987.pdf 1987 season in details]
* "Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League" (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)


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