2004 NFL season
With the New England Patriots 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 Dolphins home games: the game against the Tennessee Titans was moved up one day to Saturday, September 11 to avoid oncoming Hurricane Ivan, while the game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers 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 the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, the Super Bowl championship game, at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on February 6.
Major rule changes
- Due to several incidents during the 2003 NFL season, officials are authorized to penalize excessive celebration. The 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty will be marked off from the spot at the end of the previous play or, after a score, on the ensuing kickoff. If the infraction is ruled flagrant by the officials, the player(s) are ejected.
- Due to several instances during the 2003–04 playoffs, officials are instructed to strictly enforce illegal contact, pass interference, and defensive holding.
- Timeouts can be called by head coaches.
- In addition to the numbers 80–89, wide receivers will now be allowed to use numbers 10–19.
- A punt or missed field goal that is untouched by the receiving team is immediately dead once it touches either the end zone or any member of the kicking team in the end zone. Previously, a punt or missed field goal that lands in the end zone before being controlled by the kicking team could be picked up by a member of the receiving team and immediately run the other way.
- Teams will be awarded a third instant replay challenge if their first two are successful. Previously, teams were only limited to two regardless of what occurred during the game.
- The one-bar facemask was officially outlawed. The few remaining players who still used the one-bar facemask at the time were allowed to continue to use the style until they left the league under a grandfather clause.
2004 NFL Changes
- Baltimore Ravens – Added third alternative uniforms. Black.
- Cincinnati Bengals – New Uniforms.
- Indianapolis Colts – Grey facemask. Black shoes.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – New road uniforms. White uniforms, black numbers with gold and teal trim. New black pants with Jaguars logo on hip.
- New York Giants – Added third alternative uniforms. Red.
- Minnesota Vikings – New FieldTurf field.
- Chicago Bears – Added third alternative uniforms. Orange.
- Arizona Cardinals – Dennis Green replaced Dave McGinnis
- Atlanta Falcons – Jim Mora, Jr. replaced Dan Reeves
- Buffalo Bills – Mike Mularkey replaced Gregg Williams
- Chicago Bears – Lovie Smith replaced Dick Jauron
- Oakland Raiders – Norv Turner replaced Bill Callahan
- New York Giants – Tom Coughlin replaced Jim Fassel
- Washington Redskins – Joe Gibbs replaced Steve Spurrier
Final regular season standings
W = Wins, L = Losses, PCT = Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against
Clinched playoff seeds are marked in parentheses and shaded in green. No ties occurred this year.
|(2) New England Patriots||14||2||.875||437||260|
|(5) New York Jets [b]||10||6||.625||333||261|
|(1) Pittsburgh Steelers||15||1||.938||372||251|
|(3) Indianapolis Colts [a]||12||4||.750||522||351|
|(4) San Diego Chargers||12||4||.750||446||313|
|(6) Denver Broncos||10||6||.625||381||304|
|Kansas City Chiefs||7||9||.438||483||435|
|(1) Philadelphia Eagles||13||3||.813||386||260|
|New York Giants [e]||6||10||.375||303||347|
|Dallas Cowboys [f]||6||10||.375||293||405|
|(3) Green Bay Packers||10||6||.625||424||380|
|(6) Minnesota Vikings [d]||8||8||.500||405||395|
|(2) Atlanta Falcons||11||5||.688||340||337|
|New Orleans Saints||8||8||.500||348||405|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||11||.312||301||304|
|(4) Seattle Seahawks||9||7||.563||371||373|
|(5) St. Louis Rams [c]||8||8||.500||319||392|
|San Francisco 49ers||2||14||.125||259||452|
- a Indianapolis clinched the AFC #3 seed instead of San Diego based on better head-to-head record (1–0).
- b N.Y. Jets clinched the AFC #5 seed instead of Denver based on better record in common games (5–0 to 3–2).
- c St. Louis clinched the NFC #5 seed instead of Minnesota or New Orleans based on better conference record (7–5 to Minnesota's 5–7 to New Orleans' 6–6).
- d Minnesota clinched the NFC #6 seed instead of New Orleans based on better head-to-head record (1–0).
- e N.Y. Giants finished ahead of Dallas and Washington in the NFC East based on better head-to-head record (3–1 to Dallas' 2–2 to Washington's 1–3).
- f Dallas finished ahead of Washington in the NFC East based on better head-to-head record (2–0).
|1|| [[2004 Pittsburgh Steelers season#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Pittsburgh Steelers]] (North winner)
| [[2004 Philadelphia Eagles season#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other|
This page is a soft redirect.Philadelphia Eagles]] (East winner)
|2|| [[2004 New England Patriots season#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.New England Patriots]] (East winner)
| [[2004 Atlanta Falcons season#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other|
This page is a soft redirect.Atlanta Falcons]] (South winner)
|3|| [[2004 Indianapolis Colts season#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Indianapolis Colts]] (South winner)
| [[2004 Green Bay Packers season#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other|
This page is a soft redirect.Green Bay Packers]] (North winner)
|4|| [[2004 San Diego Chargers season#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.San Diego Chargers]] (West winner)
| [[2004 Seattle Seahawks season#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other|
This page is a soft redirect.Seattle Seahawks]] (West winner)
|5|| [[2004 New York Jets season#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.New York Jets]] (wild card)
| [[2004 St. Louis Rams season#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other|
This page is a soft redirect.St. Louis Rams]] (wild card)
|6|| [[2004 Denver Broncos season#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Denver Broncos]] (wild card)
| [[2004 Minnesota Vikings season#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other|
This page is a soft redirect.Minnesota Vikings]] (wild card)
For details on the NFL playoff format, see National Football League playoffs#Current playoff system.
|Jan. 9 – RCA Dome||Jan. 16 – Gillette Stadium|
|3||Indianapolis||49||Jan. 23 – Heinz Field|
|Jan. 8 – Qualcomm Stadium||2||New England||41|
|Jan. 15 – Heinz Field|
|5||N.Y. Jets||20*||AFC Championship|
|4||San Diego||17||Feb. 6 – Alltel Stadium|
|Wild Card Playoffs|
|Jan. 8 – Qwest Field||A2||New England||24|
|Jan. 15 – Georgia Dome|
|5||St. Louis||27||Super Bowl XXXIX|
|4||Seattle||20||Jan. 23 – Lincoln Financial Field|
|Jan. 9 – Lambeau Field||2||Atlanta||10|
|Jan. 16 – Lincoln Financial Field|
- * Indicates overtime victory
The following teams and players set all-time NFL records during the season:
|Record||Player/Team||Date/Opponent||Previous Record Holder|
|Longest Interception Return||Ed Reed, Baltimore (106 yards)||November 7, at 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||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. Despite throwing for 49 touchdown passes, Peyton Manning attempted fewer than 500 passes for the first time in his NFL career. 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.
|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)|
|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)|
|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|
- "Records". 2005 NFL Record and Fact Book. NFL. 2005. ISBN 978-1-932994-36-0.
- Numbelivable!, p.35, Michael X. Ferraro and John Veneziano, Triumph Books, Chicago, Illinois, 2007, ISBN 978-1-57243-990-0
- Numbelivable!, p.146, Michael X. Ferraro and John Veneziano, Triumph Books, Chicago, Illinois, 2007, ISBN 978-1-57243-990-0
- NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
- NFL History 2001– (Last accessed October 17, 2005)
- Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
- Celebration penalty among rules changes (Last accessed October 17, 2005)