2005 NFL season

2005 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 8, 2005 – January 1, 2006
Start date January 7, 2006
AFC Champions Pittsburgh Steelers
NFC Champions Seattle Seahawks
Super Bowl XL
Date February 5, 2006
Site Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Champions Pittsburgh Steelers
Pro Bowl
Date February 12, 2006
Site Aloha Stadium

The 2005 NFL season was the 86th regular season of the National Football League.

Regular season play was held from September 8, 2005 to January 1, 2006. The regular season also saw the first ever regular season game played outside the United States, as well as the New Orleans Saints being forced to play elsewhere due to damage to the Superdome and the entire New Orleans area by Hurricane Katrina.

The playoffs began on January 7. New England's streak of 10 consecutive playoff wins was ended in the Divisional Playoff Round by the Denver Broncos, and eventually the NFL title was won by the Pittsburgh Steelers, who defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21–10 in Super Bowl XL at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on February 5 for their fifth Super Bowl win. This also marked the first time that a Sixth-seeded team, who by the nature of their seeding would play every game on the road, would advance to and win the Super Bowl.

The season formally concluded with the Pro Bowl, the league's all-star game, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii on February 12.


This marked the final season that ABC held the rights to televise Monday Night Football after thirty-six years of airing the series. When the TV contracts were renewed near the end of the season, the rights to broadcast Monday Night Football were awarded to Disney-owned corporate sibling ESPN. NBC bought the right to televise Sunday Night Football, marking the first time that the network broadcast NFL games since Super Bowl XXXII in 1998.[1] Meanwhile, CBS and Fox renewed their television contracts to the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference packages, respectively.[2]

First regular season game played outside the United States

The 2005 season also featured the first ever regular season game played outside the United States when a San Francisco 49ersArizona Cardinals game was played at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on October 2 (the Cardinals won 31–14). The game drew an NFL regular season record of 103,467 paid fans. It was a home game for the Cardinals, mostly because the team rarely sold out at their then-home field, Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. This season was the last year that the Cardinals played at Sun Devil Stadium; the team then moved to their new Cardinals Stadium in nearby Glendale.

Effect of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season

Effect of Hurricane Katrina

The Louisiana Superdome did not host the New Orleans Saints during the 2005 season, due in part to damage seen here.

Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina to the Louisiana Superdome and the greater New Orleans area, the entire New Orleans Saints' 2005 home schedule were played at different venues while the Saints set up temporary operations in San Antonio, Texas. The Saints' first home game on September 18 against the New York Giants was moved to Giants Stadium on September 19 (In which the N.Y. Giants won 27–10). The impromptu "Monday Night doubleheader" with the game already scheduled (Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys) was a success, and was made a permanent part of the schedule the next year when Monday Night Football made the move to ESPN. As a result of the unscheduled doubleheader, the NFL designated its second weekend, September 18 and 19, as "Hurricane Relief Weekend", with fund raising collections at all of the league's games. The Saints' remaining home games were split between the Alamodome in San Antonio and Louisiana State University's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Being forced to travel to 13 of their 16 games (only 3 of their games were actually played in the same city where they practiced) and practice in substandard facilities and conditions in San Antonio, the Saints finished 3–13, their worst season since 1999.

The last time an NFL franchise had to play at an alternate site because its own home field was deemed unplayable was in 2002, when the Chicago Bears played that season in Champaign, Illinois, 120 miles (200 km) away, due to the reconstruction of Soldier Field.[3] The last NFL team to abandon their home city during a season was the hapless 1952 Dallas Texans, whose franchise was returned to the league after drawing several poor crowds at the Cotton Bowl. They played their final "home" game at the Rubber Bowl in Akron, Ohio, against the Bears on Thanksgiving; the Texans stunned the Bears, 27–23, in front of a crowd estimated at 3,000, for their only win of the season.[4]

Effect of Hurricane Wilma

The Sunday, October 23 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins at Dolphins Stadium was rescheduled to Friday, October 21 at 7:00 pm EDT to beat Hurricane Wilma's arrival to the Miami, Florida area.[5] The Chiefs won the game, 30–20, and became the first visiting team to travel and play on the same day. Since the game was planned for Sunday afternoon, it is one of the few times in history that the Dolphins wore their road jerseys in a home game played at night.

Major rule changes

2005 NFL Changes

Defending champions the New England Patriots at the eventual Super Bowl winners the Pittsburgh Steelers, September 25

In addition, with the RCA and Edward Jones domes both removing their AstroTurf surfaces in favor of the newer FieldTurf surface, the old AstroTurf surface ceased to exist in the NFL.

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
(4) New England Patriots 106.625379338 Details
Miami Dolphins 97.562318317 Details
Buffalo Bills 511.312271367 Details
New York Jets 412.250240355 Details
AFC North
(3) Cincinnati Bengals [a] 115.688421350 Details
(6) Pittsburgh Steelers 115.688389258 Details
Baltimore Ravens [b] 610.375265299 Details
Cleveland Browns 610.375232301 Details
AFC South
(1) Indianapolis Colts 142.875439247 Details
(5) Jacksonville Jaguars 124.750361269 Details
Tennessee Titans 412.250299421 Details
Houston Texans 214.125260431 Details
AFC West
(2) Denver Broncos 133.812395258 Details
Kansas City Chiefs 106.625403325 Details
San Diego Chargers 97.562418312 Details
Oakland Raiders 412.250290383 Details
NFC East
(4) New York Giants 115.688422314 Details
(6) Washington Redskins 106.625359293 Details
Dallas Cowboys 97.562325308 Details
Philadelphia Eagles 610.375310388 Details
NFC North
(2) Chicago Bears [d] 115.688260202 Details
Minnesota Vikings 97.562306344 Details
Detroit Lions 511.312254345 Details
Green Bay Packers 412.250298344 Details
NFC South
(3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers [c][e] 115.688300274 Details
(5) Carolina Panthers 115.688391259 Details
Atlanta Falcons 88.500351341 Details
New Orleans Saints 313.188235398 Details
NFC West
(1) Seattle Seahawks 133.812452271 Details
St. Louis Rams 610.375363429 Details
Arizona Cardinals 511.312311387 Details
San Francisco 49ers 412.250239428 Details


Further information: 2005–06 NFL playoffs

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 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. 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. 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. The 1 and 2 seeds from each conference then receive a bye in the first round. 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). 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. 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.

Playoff seeds
1 Indianapolis Colts (South winner) Seattle Seahawks (West winner)
2 Denver Broncos (West winner) Chicago Bears (North winner)
3 Cincinnati Bengals (North winner) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (South winner)
4 New England Patriots (East winner) New York Giants (East winner)
5 Jacksonville Jaguars (wild card) Carolina Panthers (wild card)
6 Pittsburgh Steelers (wild card) Washington Redskins (wild card)


Jan. 8 – Giants Stadium   Jan. 15 – Soldier Field          
 5  Carolina  23
 5  Carolina  29
 4  NY Giants  0     Jan. 22 – Qwest Field
 2  Chicago  21  
Jan. 7 – Raymond James Stadium  5  Carolina  14
Jan. 14 – Qwest Field
   1  Seattle  34  
 6  Washington  17 NFC Championship
 6  Washington  10
 3  Tampa Bay  10   Feb. 5 – Ford Field
 1  Seattle  20  
Jan. 8 – Paul Brown Stadium  N1  Seattle  10
Jan. 15 – RCA Dome
   A6  Pittsburgh  21
 6  Pittsburgh  31 Super Bowl XL
 6  Pittsburgh  21
 3  Cincinnati  17     Jan. 22 – Invesco Field at Mile High
 1  Indianapolis  18  
Jan. 7 – Gillette Stadium  6  Pittsburgh  34
Jan. 14 – Invesco Field at Mile High
   2  Denver  17  
 5  Jacksonville  3 AFC Championship
 4  New England  13
 4  New England  28  
 2  Denver  27  


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

Record Player/Team Date/Opponent Previous Record Holder[8]
Longest Return of a Missed Field Goal/
Longest Play in NFL History
Nathan Vasher, Chicago (108 yards) November 13, vs. San Francisco Chris McAlister, Baltimore vs. Denver, September 30, 2002 (107 yards)
Most Consecutive Games Played, Career Jeff Feagles, New York Giants November 27, at Seattle Jim Marshall, 1960–1979 (282)
Most Touchdowns, Season Shaun Alexander, Seattle (28) N/A Priest Holmes, Kansas City, 2003 (27)
Most Field Goals, Season Neil Rackers, Arizona (40) N/A Tied by 2 players (39)
Most Field Goals by a Team, Season Arizona (43) N/A Tied by 2 teams (39)

Statistical leaders

Atlanta at Detroit on Thanksgiving, November 24, 2005


Points scoredSeattle Seahawks (452)
Total yards gainedKansas City Chiefs (6,192)
Yards rushingAtlanta Falcons (2,546)
Yards passingArizona Cardinals (4,437)
Fewest points allowedChicago Bears (202)
Fewest total yards allowedTampa Bay Buccaneers (4,444)
Fewest rushing yards allowedSan Diego Chargers (1,349)
Fewest passing yards allowedGreen Bay Packers (2,680)


ScoringShaun Alexander, Seattle (168 points)
TouchdownsShaun Alexander, Seattle (28 TDs) *
Most field goals madeNeil Rackers, Arizona (40 FGs) *
RushingShaun Alexander, Seattle (1,880 yards)
Passer ratingPeyton Manning, Indianapolis (104.1 rating)
Passing touchdownsCarson Palmer, Cincinnati (32 TDs)
Passing yardsTom Brady, New England (4,110 yards)
Pass receptionsLarry Fitzgerald, Arizona and Steve Smith, Carolina (103 catches)
Pass receiving yardsSteve Smith, Carolina (1,563 yards)
Punt returnsReno Mahe, Philadelphia (12.8 average yards)
Kickoff returnsTerrence McGee, Buffalo (30.2 average yards)
InterceptionsTy Law, New York Jets and Deltha O'Neal, Cincinnati (10)
PuntingBrian Moorman, Buffalo and Shane Lechler, Oakland (45.7 average yards)
SacksDerrick Burgess, Oakland (16)
* — Denotes new league record.


Most Valuable PlayerShaun Alexander, Running Back, Seattle
Coach of the YearLovie Smith, Chicago
Offensive Player of the YearShaun Alexander, Running Back, Seattle
Defensive Player of the YearBrian Urlacher, Linebacker, Chicago
Offensive Rookie of the Year Carnell Williams, Running Back, Tampa Bay
Defensive Rookie of the YearShawne Merriman, Linebacker, San Diego
NFL Comeback Player of the YearTedy Bruschi, Linebacker, New England
Steve Smith, Wide Receiver, Carolina (tie)

Team Superlatives

Pittsburgh Super Bowl winners Ben Roethlisberger and Jerome Bettis with sportscaster Chris Berman at Super Bowl XL media day





All-Pro Team
Defensive endDwight Freeney, Indianapolis
Osi Umenyiora, N.Y. Giants
Defensive tackleJamal Williams, San Diego
Richard Seymour, New England
Outside linebackerLance Briggs, Chicago
Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay
Inside linebackerBrian Urlacher, Chicago
Al Wilson, Denver
CornerbackChamp Bailey, Denver
Ronde Barber, Tampa Bay
SafetyBob Sanders, Indianapolis
Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh
Special teams
KickerNeil Rackers, Arizona
PunterBrian Moorman, Buffalo
Kick returnerJerome Mathis, Houston



  1. "NFL announces new prime-time TV packages". NFL.com. Archived from the original on November 30, 2005. Retrieved December 13, 2005.
  2. "NFL to remain on broadcast TV". NFL.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2005. Retrieved December 13, 2005.
  3. "NFL History 2001 —". NFL.com. Archived from the original on October 13, 2005. Retrieved October 2, 2005.
  4. Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. ISBN 0-06-270174-6.
  5. "Chiefs-Dolphins game moved to Oct. 21". NFL.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2005. Retrieved October 21, 2005.
  6. "NFL approves ban on horse-collar tackle". NFL.com. Archived from the original on May 27, 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2005.
  7. 2006 NFL Record and Fact Book. p. 421. ISBN 1-933405-32-5.
  8. "Records". 2005 NFL Record and Fact Book. NFL. 2005. ISBN 1-932994-36-X.
  9. Pro-Football-Reference.com: 2005 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics
  10. Pro-Football-Reference.com: 2005 NFL Opposition & Defensive Statistics


External links

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