2001 NFL season

2001 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 9, 2001 – January 7, 2002
In the wake of the September 11 attacks, a number of games were re-scheduled.
Start date January 12, 2002
AFC Champions New England Patriots
NFC Champions St. Louis Rams
Super Bowl XXXVI
Date February 3, 2002
Site Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Champions New England Patriots
Pro Bowl
Date February 9, 2002
Site Aloha Stadium

The 2001 NFL season was the 82nd regular season of the National Football League (NFL).

In the wake of the September 11 attacks, the NFL's week 2 games (September 16–17) were postponed and re-scheduled to the weekend of January 6–7. In order to retain the full playoff format, all playoff games, including Super Bowl XXXVI, were re-scheduled one week later. The New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, defeating the St. Louis Rams 20–17 at the Louisiana Superdome.


Following a pattern set in 1999, the first week of the season was permanently moved to the weekend following Labor Day. With Super Bowls XXXVI-XXXVII already scheduled for fixed dates, the league initially decided to eliminate the Super Bowl bye weeks for 2001 and 2002 to adjust.

In the wake of the September 11 attacks, the games originally scheduled for September 16–17 were postponed and re-scheduled to the weekend of January 6–7. In order to retain the full playoff format, all playoff games, including the Super Bowl, were re-scheduled one week later. The season-ending Pro Bowl was also moved to one week later. This was the last season in which each conference had 3 divisions, as the conferences were realigned to 4 divisions for the 2002 NFL season.

Canceling the games scheduled for September 16–17 was considered and rejected since it would have canceled a home game for half the teams of the league. It would have also resulted in an unequal number of games played: Sept. 16–17 was to have been a bye for the San Diego Chargers, so that team would still have played 16 games that season and each of the other teams would have played only 15 games (the Chargers ultimately finished 5–11, making any competitive advantages to playing an extra game moot).

New England at Carolina in week 17, January 6, 2002

As a result of rescheduling Week 2 as Week 17, the Pittsburgh Steelers ended up not playing a home game for the entire month of September (their only home game during that month was originally scheduled for Sept. 16). The ESPN Sunday Night Football game for that week was also changed. It was originally scheduled to be Cleveland at Pittsburgh, but it was replaced with Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, which was seen as a more interesting matchup (it was the only night game the Browns had on the schedule, whereas the Steelers had a few others; so 2000 and 2001 marked the first back-to-back seasons for the Browns without a primetime game since 1974–76; the Browns would finally play in Heinz Field at night in 2003). Ironically, the Eagles and the Buccaneers would both rest their starters that night, and they would meet one week later in the playoffs. In recognition of this, when NBC began airing Sunday Night Football in 2006, there would be no game initially scheduled for weeks 11–17 – a game initially scheduled in the afternoon would be moved to the primetime slot, without stripping any teams of a primetime appearance. This way of "flexible scheduling" would not be utilized at all in 2007, and since 2008, it is only utilized in the final week.

The games that eventually made up Week 17 marked the latest regular season games to be played during what is traditionally defined as "NFL season" (under the current format, the regular season cannot end later than January 3 in any given year).

Another scheduling change took place in October, when the Dallas Cowboys-Oakland Raiders game was moved from October 21 to 7 to accommodate a possible Oakland Athletics home playoff game on the 21st (the start of Major League Baseball's postseason was also delayed by the 9/11 attacks due to rescheduling of a week's worth of games). The rescheduling ended up being unnecessary as the Athletics would not make it past the Division Series round.

Also, this was the only NFL season where every jersey had a patch to remember those who died on 9/11, and the New York Jets and New York Giants wore a patch to remember the firefighters who died.

The season ended with Super Bowl XXXVI when the New England Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams.

Major rule changes

Uniform and stadium changes

Coaching changes

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.

AFC East
(2) New England Patriots 115.688371272
(4) Miami Dolphins 115.688344290
(6) New York Jets 106.625308295
Indianapolis Colts 610.375413486
Buffalo Bills 313.188265420
AFC Central
(1) Pittsburgh Steelers 133.813352212
(5) Baltimore Ravens 106.625303265
Cleveland Browns 79.438285319
Tennessee Titans 79.438336388
Jacksonville Jaguars 610.375294286
Cincinnati Bengals 610.375226309
AFC West
(3) Oakland Raiders 106.625399327
Seattle Seahawks 97.563301324
Denver Broncos 88.500340339
Kansas City Chiefs 610.375320344
San Diego Chargers 511.313332321
NFC East
(3) Philadelphia Eagles 115.688343208
Washington Redskins 88.500256303
New York Giants 79.438294321
Arizona Cardinals 79.438295343
Dallas Cowboys 511.313246338
NFC Central
(2) Chicago Bears 133.813338203
(4) Green Bay Packers 124.750390266
(6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 97.563324280
Minnesota Vikings 511.313290390
Detroit Lions 214.125270424
NFC West
(1) St. Louis Rams 142.875503273
(5) San Francisco 49ers 124.750409282
New Orleans Saints 79.438333409
Atlanta Falcons 79.438291377
Carolina Panthers 115.063253410



Jan. 12 – Veterans Stadium   Jan. 19 – Soldier Field          
 6  Tampa Bay  9
 3  Philadelphia  33
 3  Philadelphia  31     Jan. 27 – Edward Jones Dome
 2  Chicago  19  
Jan. 13 – Lambeau Field  3  Philadelphia  24
Jan. 20 – Dome at America's Center
   1  St. Louis  29  
 5  San Francisco  15 NFC Championship
 4  Green Bay  17
 4  Green Bay  25   Feb. 3 – Louisiana Superdome
 1  St. Louis  45  
Jan. 12 – Network Associates Coliseum  N1  St. Louis  17
Jan. 19 – Foxboro Stadium
   A2  New England  20
 6  NY Jets  24 Super Bowl XXXVI
 3  Oakland  13
 3  Oakland  38     Jan. 27 – Heinz Field
 2  New England  16*  
Jan. 13 – Pro Player Stadium  2  New England  24
Jan. 20 – Heinz Field
   1  Pittsburgh  17  
 5  Baltimore  20 AFC Championship
 5  Baltimore  10
 4  Miami  3  
 1  Pittsburgh  27  
* Indicates overtime victory
Bold text Indicates winning team


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

Record Player/Team Previous Record Holder[3]
Most Sacks, Season* Michael Strahan, New York Giants (22.5) Mark Gastineau, New York Jets, 1984 (22.0)
Most Consecutive Games Lost, Season Carolina (15) Tied by 4 teams (14)

* – Sack statistics have only been compiled since 1982.

Statistical leaders


Points scoredSt. Louis Rams (503)
Total yards gainedSt. Louis Rams (6,930)
Yards rushingPittsburgh Steelers (2,774)
Yards passingSt. Louis Rams (4,903)
Fewest points allowedChicago Bears (203)
Fewest total yards allowedPittsburgh Steelers (4,504)
Fewest rushing yards allowedPittsburgh Steelers (1,195)
Fewest passing yards allowedDallas Cowboys (3,019)


ScoringMarshall Faulk, St. Louis (128 points)
TouchdownsMarshall Faulk, St. Louis (21 TDs)
Most field goals madeJason Elam, Denver (31 FGs)
RushingPriest Holmes, Kansas City (1,555 yards)
PassingKurt Warner, St. Louis (101.4 rating)
Passing touchdownsKurt Warner, St. Louis (36 TDs)
Pass receivingRod Smith, Denver (113 catches)
Pass receiving yardsDavid Boston, Arizona (1,598)
Punt returnsTroy Brown, New England (14.2 average yards)
Kickoff returnsRonney Jenkins, San Diego (26.6 average yards)
InterceptionsRonde Barber, Tampa Bay and Anthony Henry, Cleveland (10)
PuntingTodd Sauerbrun, Carolina (47.5 average yards)
SacksMichael Strahan, New York Giants (22.5)


Most Valuable PlayerKurt Warner, Quarterback, St. Louis
Coach of the YearDick Jauron, Chicago
Offensive Player of the YearMarshall Faulk, Running back, St. Louis
Defensive Player of the YearMichael Strahan, Defensive End, New York Giants
Offensive Rookie of the YearAnthony Thomas, Running Back, Chicago
Defensive Rookie of the YearKendrell Bell, Linebacker, Pittsburgh
NFL Comeback Player of the YearGarrison Hearst, Running Back, San Francisco


  1. "Panthers' Seifert confused by call". September 18, 2000. Archived from the original on October 17, 2000. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  2. Bush, David (December 17, 2000). "Bizarre Play Stuns Raiders". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  3. "Records". 2005 NFL Record and Fact Book. NFL. 2005. ISBN 978-1-932994-36-0.

Further reading

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/17/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.