NFL Notebook: NFL realignment for 2002 season already a done deal . Sure, the Dolphins, Jets, and Bills have all had a good year here and there but that is all it has been; a single good year. By Ed Bouchette, Post-Gazette Sports Writer . American Needle, which had a contract with a few teams before the Reebok deal, challenged the NFL in court over Reebok's exclusive deal, with the NFL effectively stating that it was a “single-entity league” instead of a group consisting of various owners. The NFL title was eventually won by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they defeated the Oakland Raiders 48–21 in Super Bowl XXXVII, at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California on January 26, 2003. So why is it here? AP Defensive Player of the Year: Derrick Brooks. It’s simple. N.Y. The league went back to an even number of teams, expanding to 32 teams with the addition of the Houston Texans; the league has remained static with 32 teams since. The NFL was wrong with the placement of teams in the other 5 divisions. Inside the final two minutes of a half/overtime, the game clock will not stop when the player who originally takes the snap is tackled behind the line of scrimmage (i.e. Contiguous conferences. [4][note 1] Under the new scheduling formula, only two of a team's games each season are based on the previous season's record, down from four under the previous system. Of the three AFC divisional changes, the South division is the only one that adds mileage to their divisional travel. Originally, it was for one reason, and one reason only: to facilitate a championship game at the end of the year between the two division leaders. Without moving any teams from the NFC to the AFC or vice-versa, 5,227 miles will be saved each season. Since 2020, the number of wild card teams went back to three. Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:'KvKcvRHPTm9QJng0KQgewA',sig:'ic-3rW2tOsgLxKkZk2DGW7SkHeavB_sfR8fqFCUwyNs=',w:'594px',h:'396px',items:'1139554422',caption: true ,tld:'com',is360: false })}); I like the way this guy thinks. B1G: Google Map. All teams play four interconference games. Also, the Chicago Bears played their home games in 2002 in Champaign, Illinois at Memorial Stadium because of the reconstruction of Soldier Field. The 1 and 2 seeds from each conference then receive a bye in the first round. They missed an opportunity for a change 17 years ago and the time to fix it is now. For the Gaelic football season in Ireland, see, 83rd season in the history of the National Football League, Learn how and when to remove this template message, American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League, Football Outsiders 2002 Team Efficiency Ratings, Cardinals among teams to benefit from new roof rule, "American Needle Supreme Court Ruling: NFL Loses Lawsuit", NFL Announces 2002–2009 Schedule Rotation, Seattle moved to NFC in approved realignment plan, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2002_NFL_season&oldid=1002723226, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2020, Articles needing additional references from December 2018, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Seattle (32) vs. Kansas City (32) [64 total], The teams in the AFC Central and NFC Central were placed in the new. The extra miles needed for these mistakes is enough to drive around the Earth twice! February 20, 2018 - This is only a test, but I wanted to try it. The proposed realignment of the divisions will still have to be approved by the stakeholders. Additionally, it saves the division 2,770 miles of driving to attend all of the games. The AFC East is back on top when you remove the best team from each division, which leads me to believe that the rest of the AFC East hasn't been "easy" by any stretch. It nearly became problematic during the previous season due to the September 11 attacks, since the San Diego Chargers had their bye week during that week and the league nearly outright canceled that week's slate of games. Let me stop you right there, Big 12 fans. LA Rams. After a realignment and expansion of the Western Athletic Conference was announced Thursday, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley revealed conversations regarding a football program in the university will be revisited. [8] Reebok remained the league's athletic supplier through the 2011 NFL season, when Nike took over the contract for the 2012 NFL season.[9]. In the AFC, … The NFL is always changing whether we like it or not. That was the deal. This differs from the NFL's choice in the alignment of Minnesota and St. Louis, and … Learn how your comment data is processed. The NFL divisions are named by conference and cardinal directions, but it's never really made sense to have a northern team like the Indianapolis Colts in … In creating the new divisions, the league tried to maintain the historical rivalries from the old alignment, while at the same time attempting to organize the teams geographically. The Decatur Staleys and the Chicago Cardinals are the only two teams from the original 14 that are still around today but are now known as the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals. The league also introduced a new eight-year scheduling rotation designed so that all teams will play each other at least twice during those eight years, and play in every other team's stadium at least once. It tracks the history of each of the league's 32 current franchises from the early days of the league, through its merger with the American Football League (AFL). Previously, the 15 yard penalty was enforced but the down was replayed. AP MVP: Kurt Warner. The playoff format was also modified: four division winners and two wild cards from each conference now advance to the playoffs, instead of three division winners and three wild cards. After a kickoff, the game clock will start when the ball is touched legally in the field of play. The Cowboys will experience the most change as they will no longer need to make the trip to the upper East Coast. The history of franchises that began as independent teams, or as members of the Ohio League, New York Pro Football League, and other defunct leagues are shown as well. The Giants, Eagles, and Redskins will maintain their rivalries with each other while the Panthers can build their rivalry with the Redskins. The Steelers will lose their Baltimore rivals but the competitive addition of the Colts should make up for it. 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. Huh. In 2002, the league added the Houston Texans as an expansion team giving the NFL 32 teams. The new NFC South will consist of the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, and Cowboys. St. Louis finished ahead of Seattle in the NFC West based on better division record (4–2 to 2–4). It’s not, though. This article is a timeline of the National Football League (NFL). sacked). With the first pick, the Houston Texans selected quarterback David Carr from Fresno State University. Every conference gets 12 teams with no protected cross-division rivalries. Look at the records of division winn… However, the number of playoff teams still remained at 12, where it was from 1990 to 2019. Test your knowledge on this sports quiz and compare your score to others. The home team must determine whether their retractable roof is to be opened or closed 90 minutes before kickoff (regular season only; in the playoffs, the NFL determines whether the roof is open or closed). AP MVP: Rich Gannon. NFC West: Arizona. With an even amount of teams, the NFL wisely elected to split both the AFC and NFC conferences into four equal divisions which were appropriately labeled North, East, South, and West. 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. This page was last edited on 25 January 2021, at 19:48. FARGO - Patty Viverito doesn't seem too worried about any conferences approaching one of her Missouri Valley Football schools. The Colts will join the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers in a division that will be separated by the least amount of miles. New England finished ahead of Miami in the AFC East based on better division record (4–2 to 2–4). Reebok had initially announced when the deal was signed in 2000 that aside from the expansion Texans, all NFL teams would be wearing new uniforms for the 2002 season. The clubs were then realigned into eight divisions, four teams in each. In addition, the competitive balance created will make the division a lot more interesting. With two divisions already properly set up, there isn’t a lot to shake up on the NFC side. Hitting a quarterback helmet-to-helmet anytime after a change of possession is illegal. The reduced miles will create new rivalries and a larger, more passionate fan base in each region. Your email address will not be published. The final shakeup to the divisions is the aforementioned addition of the Panthers in place of the Cowboys. Increase over the NFC distance in Table 3: 4208km. Any dead-ball penalties by the offense after they have made the line to gain will result in a loss of 15 yards and a new first down. A player who touches a pylon remains in-bounds until any part of his body touches the ground out-of-bounds. Philadelphia clinched the NFC 1 seed instead of Green Bay or Tampa Bay based on better conference record (11–1 to Green Bay's 9–3 and Tampa Bay's 9–3). This leaves the Miami Dolphins joining up with the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, and new in-state rival Jacksonville Jaguars. 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. In 2009, the Supreme Court agreed to hear American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League. There’s quite a few things I could think of to change about the NFL, and one of those items is divisional alignment. This is perhaps most noticeable on the Indianapolis Colts jerseys, where the shoulder stripes, which initially went from the top of the shoulders all the way underneath the arms, were truncated to just the top portion of the shoulders. For the cost of 260 driving miles, the AFC South will now have an in-state rivalry between the Dolphins and Jaguars. Chop-blocks are illegal on kicking plays. The National Football League is the largest and most successful sports league on the continent. Oakland clinched the AFC 1 seed instead of Tennessee based on a head-to-head victory. Seattle. Also, with the opening of the NFL's first stadium with a retractable roof, Reliant Stadium, the following rules were enacted: This rule was amended in 2015 to allow a roof to be opened or closed at halftime, at the home team's discretion.[6]. It’s what the NFL should do to improve the league. The college football folks get to deal with conference realignments all the damn time. The 2004 NFC West teams went 13-27 with a negative-306 point differential in out-of-division games. Friday, October 08, 1999. 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 wrong placement of the Cowboys and Dolphins forced the misplacement of the Colts, Ravens, and Panthers as well. No start date for the new season has been confirmed yet, but on Monday Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman announced that the league’s new goal is a 56-game season that will begin on … Houston and Tennessee can maintain their franchise rivalry and Miami gets to save a lot of miles. Required fields are marked *. If it is open at kickoff, it cannot be closed during the game unless the weather conditions become severe. Previously, the clock started immediately when the ball was kicked. This article is about the American football season in the United States. Ten years ago this month, the last great spasm of realignment began shaking the college sports world. The 2014 NFC South may be the worst division since realignment, as all four teams went 10-29-1 (.263 win percentage) outside their division, the second-worst in NFL history. Table 4: Optimal realignment for the NFL's choice of NFC, with Dallas and Washington in the same division. AP Offensive Rookie of the Year: Clinton Portis. Over the course of 100 years, the one constant has always been change. With the National Hockey League and NHL Players’ Association currently discussing logistics of the upcoming 2020-21 season, the potential look of divisional realignment … There were only 14 teams in the league during the inaugural season with the Akron Pros being awarded the championship. The NFL has done a great job of identifying and executing change over the years. OK, maybe if the Big 12 was leading in annual revenue distribution, this wouldn’t make sense. The 2001 NFL season was the 82nd regular season of the National Football as the conferences were realigned to 4 divisions for the 2002 NFL season. As a whole, this division will save 357 driving miles and will provide plenty of entertainment. Super Bowl Champion: New England Patriots. A realignment plan approved yesterday by the NFL is a likely first step toward a shakeup of the NFC West, the most geographically challenged division in sports. However, by swapping the Dallas Cowboys for the Carolina Panthers, the NFC conference will save 1,919 driving miles. In 2010, the court ruled that the NFL is not a single entity. They were only off by a single team in each division but the mistake has been detrimental. The act of batting and stripping the ball from a player is officially legal. Legally, three teams from the AFC Central (Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh) were required to be in the same division as part of any realignment proposals; this was part of the NFL's settlement with the city of Cleveland in the wake of the 1995 Cleveland Browns relocation controversy.[1]. Your email address will not be published. Can you name the NFL divisions prior to the 2002 realignment? The history they have against each other and playing twice a year will create a new rivalry. Out: Maryland, Rutgers The 2-14 49ers lost all 10 non-divisional games and were outscored by 130 points in those contests. Put away all those realignment … From 1999 to 2001, at least one team sat out each week (including the preseason) because of an odd number of teams in the league (this also happened in 1960, 1966, and other years wherein the league had an odd number of teams). Below is a list of Dallas-area football … In order to send the Baltimore Ravens to the AFC East, the AFC North will be adding the Indianapolis Colts. I know preserving rivalries was important when the league realigned into eight divisions in 2002, but I would have done it quite differently. This transformation brings a lot of excitement and attention to the AFC East for years to come. This is exactly what I have been thinking and frustrated about for years. The case eventually went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. For the NFL, this is just an additional upward step on their fabulous journey. Seahawks, 9-7 (winner) Rams, 8-8 Cardinals, 6-10 49ers, 2-14 This division sent two teams to the playoffs: the Seahawks and Rams. The new AFC East will be comprised of the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and Baltimore Ravens. The 2002 NFL Draft was held from April 20 to 21, 2002 at New York City's Theater at Madison Square Garden. Their fans will save 425 miles by driving to Indianapolis compared to Baltimore, and the Ohio/Indiana rivalry will increase team pride. The teams from the upper North-East corner of the United States will no longer need to take the trip to Miami every year. This has everything to do with the fact that with only 10 teams, blowing up the conference makes more sense than anywhere else. Previously, all teams had individual contracts with athletic suppliers. This has nothing to do with the quality of play in the Big 12. San Fransisco. Yes, I realize it would never happen but I think it would create tighter divisional rivalries based on regional geographies and fix some of the blatantly ridiculous structure that currently exists. 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). For those nostalgic about the NFL.s six-division days of yore, below is a in the past before realignment, would have been hosting a game. 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. Quiz by mellocrush19 ... Sports Quiz / NFL divisions before 2002 Random Sports or NFL Quiz Can you name the NFL divisions prior to the 2002 realignment? An analysis of win percentages in 2008 showed a statistical trend upwards for top teams since this change; the top team each year then averaged 14.2 wins, versus 13.4 previously. With two divisions already properly set up, there isn’t a lot to shake up on the … Viverito said Wednesday during the conference's media day. The changes are subtle. With geography as the base, the NFC North, AFC West, and NFC West have been exactly what the NFL wanted. Furthermore, every team in this division will be located in the southern half of the United States. Yes, there was a time when it was just, well, accepted that Tampa Bay played in a division with Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota and Green Bay. My goal is to create 4 power conf… Under scheduling formulas in use from 1978 to 2001, two teams in different divisions have gone over 15 seasons without playing each other. In addition, they will now have some pretty heated rivalries with their neighbors in New Orleans. Super Bowl Champion: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Previous Season Next Season. Before 2002, there were three divisions in the AFC and three divisions in the NFC. AP Defensive Player of the Year: Michael Strahan. With the Houston Texans joining the NFL, the league's teams were realigned into eight divisions: four teams in each division and four divisions in each conference. Previous Season Next Season. [5][citation needed]. This change solidifies the name of the NFC East by having all four teams on the East Coast. The official source for NFL news, video highlights, fantasy football, game-day coverage, schedules, stats, scores and more. 2002 NFL Standings & Team Stats. The 2002 NFL season was the 83rd regular season of the National Football League. "It would be like the SEC being raided at the FBS level, I truly … AP Defensive Rookie of the Year: Kendrell Bell. After looking at what the league might look like with a geographic realignment, here are a few deductions. "I can't imagine any our teams seeing greener pastures elsewhere in regards to conference opportunity." As it stands now, the Patriots have rarely been challenged and the Ravens would be an instant rival for them. 2001 NFL Standings & Team Stats. In the current system, the only way a wild card team can host a playoff game is if both teams in the conference's championship game are wild cards. There is never a peak if a business, team, or person is able to continuously improve. Every team gets a rival. The UIL on Monday morning released the district alignments for the 2020-2022 school years, determining matchups for the next two seasons. AP Defensive Rookie of the Year: Julius Peppers. The Bengals and their fans will benefit the most from this change. Another plus to this move is all four teams have outdoor stadiums. Although Reebok rescinded the idea of all NFL teams wearing new uniforms for the 2002 season, the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks did redesign their uniforms, with the Seahawks also unveiling an updated logo in honor of their move to Seahawks Stadium and the NFC. Legally, three teams from the AFC Central (Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh) were required to be in the same division as part of any reali… In creating the new divisions, the league tried to maintain the historical rivalries from the old alignment, while at the same time attempting to organize the teams geographically. However, after protests from several owners—most vocally Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney[10]—Reebok later rescinded the proposal. NFC South. The Central divisions were rebranded as North divisions, with the southernmost members of the Central (Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Tennessee) all moving to the South pods. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Tampa Bay clinched the NFC 2 seed instead of Green Bay on a head-to-head victory. Well, the teams were absolutely dreadful when they weren’t playing against each other. A closer proximity for divisional rivalries, traveling fans, prideful fans, and all teams having success are just a few examples of what makes those three divisions so successful. NFC South: (DPP Score: 354) Regular-season record points: 180 (453-431 record) Playoff … When it finally subsided in 2014, the landscape had changed dramatically. NFL Team News, Analysis, History, Schedule, Rumors. Here's a proposed geographic realignment of NFL divisions. Reebok did, however (by player request to reduce holding calls), shorten the sleeves on the jerseys for teams that hadn't done so already (most players had been for the previous decade tying the sleeves tight around their arms to prevent holding) and made the jerseys tighter-fitting. AP Offensive Rookie of the Year: Anthony Thomas. 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. What the Jared Goff & Matthew Stafford trade me…, Baltimore Ravens 2021 Off-season Positional Needs, A Guide to the Pittsburgh Steelers Logo History, Three Steps To Fix the New York Giants Offense. According to Distance Between Cities, by removing the Miami Dolphins in favor of the Ravens, the AFC East will save 3,211 driving miles. Even with the extra miles needed for this division, fans and teams should be satisfied. Additionally, the arrival of the Texans meant that the league could return to its pre-1999 scheduling format in which no team received a bye during the first three weeks or last seven weeks of the season. If it is closed at kickoff, it cannot be reopened during the game. With three teams in this division all having domes, this will be one of the loudest divisions in football. With the Houston Texans joining the NFL, the league's teams were realigned into eight divisions: four teams in each division and four divisions in each conference. With each divisional game being outside, each game will present its own challenges. This would be good for the green movement. As mentioned before, the NFL has never had a problem with making changes but this is one that needs to happen as soon as next year. The following teams and players set all-time NFL records during the season: Reebok took over the contract to be the official athletic supplier to the NFL for all 32 teams’ uniforms. Here's the complete map: Google Map. Each season may seem like something minor but over the course of a decade, you can look back and see just how different the … San Diego finished ahead of Kansas City in the AFC West based on better division record (3–3 to 2–4). Jets finished ahead of New England in the AFC East based on better record in common games (8–4 to 7–5) and Miami based on better division record (4–2 to 2–4). This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. * The Central divisions were only around for 2000 & 2001, before the NFL realignment. The longest drive for any divisional game is a six-hour trip between Pittsburgh and Indianapolis across Interstate 70. On October 3, 1920, the Dayton Triangles defeated the Columbus Panhandles 14-0 and kicked off what is known today as the NFL. There have been new teams, new rules, new mascots, new logos, new leagues, new divisions, new championships, new this, new that, and it all comes together to what the NFL is right now. So why blow up the Big 12? * The division alignment in the NFL is fine, for the most part. In each conference, the division winners are now seeded 1 through 4, and the wild cards are seeded 5 and 6. Cleveland clinched the AFC 6 seed instead of Denver or New England based on better conference record (7–5 to Denver's 5–7 and New England's 6–6). Continuing-action fouls now become dead-ball fouls and will result in the loss of down and distance. After commissioner Gary Bettman announced Tuesday that the NHL is considering a temporary realignment for the upcoming season, theScore decided to create three realignment … The National Hockey League is looking to make a few tweaks to the divisions proposed in the realignment plan and shared with the governors on Wednesday, TSN … Here is what the new divisions would look like. Have rarely been challenged and the wild cards are seeded 5 and 6 conference media... 2002, the division a lot of miles season in the Big 12 fans me stop you right,. Will save 357 driving miles determining matchups for the next time I comment,... In different divisions have gone over 15 seasons without playing each other the fact that with only teams. Upper North-East corner of the Year: Derrick Brooks their fans will save 1,919 driving miles and will in... 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