Neha Patil (Editor)

1985 NFL season

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AFC Champions  New England Patriots
Champions  Chicago Bears
Champion  Chicago Bears
NFC Champions  Chicago Bears
Site  Aloha Stadium
Start date  1985
1985 NFL season
Duration  September 8 – December 23, 1985
Site  Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Similar  1986 NFL season, 1984 NFL season, 1983 NFL season, 1982 NFL season, 1981 NFL season

The 1985 NFL season was the 66th regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XX when the Chicago Bears defeated the New England Patriots 46–10 at the Louisiana Superdome. The Bears became the second team in NFL history (after the previous season's San Francisco 49ers) to win 15 games in the regular season and 18 including the playoffs.


Major rule changes

  • Whenever a team time out is called after the two-minute warning of each half or overtime, it should only last a minute instead of 90 seconds.
  • A play is immediately dead anytime the quarterback performs a kneel-down (the quarterback immediately kneels down after receiving the snap) after the two-minute warning of each half, or whenever the player declares himself down by sliding feet first on the ground. The ball is then spotted at the point where the player touches the ground first.
  • Pass interference is not to be called when a pass is clearly uncatchable.
  • Both "Roughing the kicker" and "Running into the kicker" fouls are not to be called if the defensive player was blocked into the kicker.
  • The definition of a valid fair catch signal is clearly defined as one arm that is fully extended above the head and waved from side to side.
  • Goaltending (leaping up to deflect a kick as it passes through the goal posts) is illegal.
  • The officials' uniform changed slightly. Instead of wearing black stirrups with white stripes over white sanitary hose, the officials began wearing a one-piece sock similar to those worn by players, black with white stripes on top and solid white on the bottom.
  • Defensive backs were ruled to have an "equal right to the ball", meaning that pass interference would not be called if the defensive player was looking back attempting to intercept the ball, and that any contact with the receiver did not materially affect the receiver's ability to catch the ball.
  • Final standings

    W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT = Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against


  • Los Angeles Raiders were the first AFC seed ahead of Miami based on better record against common opponents (5–1 to Dolphins' 4–2).
  • N.Y. Jets were the first AFC Wild Card based on better conference record (9–3) than New England (8–4) and Denver (8–4).
  • New England was the second AFC Wild Card ahead of Denver based on better record against common opponents (4–2 to Broncos' 3–3).
  • Cincinnati finished ahead of Pittsburgh in the AFC Central based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • Seattle finished ahead of San Diego in the AFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
  • Dallas finished ahead of N.Y. Giants and Washington in the NFC East based on better head-to-head record (4–0 to Giants' 1–3 and Redskins' 1–3).
  • N.Y. Giants were the first NFC Wild Card based on better conference record (8–4) than San Francisco (7–5) and Washington (6–6).
  • San Francisco was the second NFC Wild Card based on head-to-head victory over Washington (1–0).
  • Minnesota finished ahead of Detroit in the NFC Central based on better division record (3–5 to Lions' 2–6).
  • Milestones

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


    1985 NFL season Wikipedia