1981 NFL season

1981 NFL season

Infobox NFL
year = 1981
NFLchampion = San Francisco 49ers
regular_season = September 5 1981 - December 21 1981
playoffs_start = December 27 1981
AFCchampion = Cincinnati Bengals
NFCchampion = San Francisco 49ers
sb_name = XVI
sb_date = January 24 1982
sb_site = Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan
pb_date = January 31 1982
The 1981 NFL season was the 62nd regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XVI when the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals.

Major rule changes

*It is illegal for any player to put adhesive or slippery substances such as the product "stickum" on his body, equipment or uniform. This rule is known as both the "Lester Hayes Rule" and the "Fred Biletnikoff Rule" since both players were notorious for using sticky substances to make it easier for them to catch passes.
*An offensive player who comes into the game wearing an illegal number for the position he takes must report to the Referee before the start of the next play.
*The penalty for an ineligible receiver who touches a forward pass is a loss of down.
*The penalty for illegal use of hands, arms, or body (including holding) is reduced from 15 yards to 10 yards.
*The penalty for intentional grounding is modified: loss of down and 10 yards penalty from the previous spot, or if the foul occurs more than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage, loss of down at the spot of the foul.

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"


Tiebreakers

*Baltimore finished ahead of New England in the AFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2-0).
*San Diego finished ahead of Denver in the AFC West based on better division record (6-2 to Broncos' 5-3).
*Buffalo was the second AFC Wild Card based on head-to-head victory over Denver (1-0).
*Detroit finished ahead of Green Bay in the NFC Central based on better record against common opponents (5-5 to Packers' 4-6).

Playoffs

:"Home team in capitals"

AFC

*Wild-Card playoff: Buffalo 31, N.Y. JETS 27
*Divisional playoffs: San Diego 41, MIAMI 38 (OT); CINCINNATI 28, Buffalo 21
*AFC Championship: CINCINNATI 27, San Diego 7 at Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio, January 10, 1982

NFC

*Wild-Card playoff: N.Y. Giants 27, PHILADELPHIA 21
*Divisional playoffs: DALLAS 38, Tampa Bay 0; SAN FRANCISCO 38, N.Y. Giants 24
*NFC Championship: SAN FRANCISCO 28, Dallas 27 at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California, January 10, 1982

uper Bowl

*Super Bowl XVI: San Francisco (NFC) 26, Cincinnati (AFC) 21, at Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan, January 24, 1982

References

* "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/1981.pdf 1981 season in details]
* "Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League" (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)


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