| Denver Broncos|
| Green Bay Packers|
| August 31, 1997 – December 22, 1997|
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
1996 NFL season, 1999 NFL season, 2000 NFL season, 2001 NFL season, 2003 NFL season
The 1997 NFL season was the 78th regular season of the National Football League. The Oilers relocated from Houston, Texas to Nashville, Tennessee. The newly renamed Tennessee Oilers played their home games during this season at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee while a new stadium in Nashville began construction. Houston would rejoin the NFL with the expansion Texans in 2002.
This was the last season to date that TNT broadcast NFL games, as well as the last for NBC until 2006. When the TV contracts were renewed near the end of the season, Fox retained the National Football Conference package, CBS took over the American Football Conference package and ESPN won the right to televise all of the Sunday night games.
Due to Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, the Chicago Bears–Miami Dolphins game at Pro Player Stadium was delayed one day to Monday, October 27.
The Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both changed their uniforms, and the new uniforms for both teams were introduced during this season.
The season ended with Super Bowl XXXII when the Denver Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers 31-24 at the Qualcomm Stadium. This broke the National Football Conference's streak of 13 consecutive Super Bowl victories.
Washington Redskins – New stadium called Jack Kent Cooke Stadium.
Tennessee Oilers – Moved from Houston to Tennessee. Played at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
Pittsburgh Steelers – New font style numbers to match those on the helmets; Steelers logo patch on uniform.
Baltimore Ravens – New style numbers with shadow in the back; wore white pants with home uniforms.
Cincinnati Bengals – Brighter orange on uniform; new Logo, and Bengals logo on sleeve ends.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – New logo and uniforms; Pewter pants and red home jerseys. Orange was maintained as a pinstripe.
Jacksonville Jaguars – New font style numbers; black side panels on uniforms.
Atlanta Falcons – New Logo; new striping on pants; red numbers with black trim on road uniforms.
San Diego Chargers – White pants with road uniforms.
Denver Broncos – New Logo and uniforms, with navy replacing orange as the primary color.
Miami Dolphins – New Logo with darker aqua; new shadow in the numbers.
St. Louis Rams – Dick Vermeil; replaced Rich Brooks who was fired after the 1996 season.
New Orleans Saints – Mike Ditka; replaced interim head coach Rick Venturi who replaced the resigning Jim Mora that same year.
New York Giants – Jim Fassel; replaced Dan Reeves who was fired after the '96 season.
Atlanta Falcons – Dan Reeves; replaced June Jones who was fired after the '96 season.
New York Jets – Bill Parcells; replaced Rich Kotite who was fired after the '96 season.
Detroit Lions – Bobby Ross; replaced Wayne Fontes who was fired after the '96 season.
San Francisco 49ers – Steve Mariucci; replaced George Seifert who resigned after the '96 season.
New England Patriots – Pete Carroll; replaced Bill Parcells who accepted the job to coach the Jets.
Oakland Raiders – Joe Bugel; replaced Mike White who was fired after the '96 season.
San Diego Chargers – Kevin Gilbride; replaced Bobby Ross who was fired after the '96 season.
When a team fakes a punt and throws the ball downfield, pass interference will not be called on the two outside defenders who are actually trying to block a coverage man from getting downfield and might not even know the ball has been thrown.
In order to reduce taunting and excessive celebrations, no player may remove his helmet while on the playing field except during timeouts, between quarters, and in the case of an injury. Violating the rule results in a 15-yard penalty. This is known as the "Emmitt Smith rule" after the Dallas Cowboys' running back's habit of taking his helmet off every time he scored a touchdown.
1997 NFL season Wikipedia
W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT = Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against Clinched playoff seeds are marked in parentheses and shaded in greenMiami finished ahead of NY Jets in the AFC East based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
Pittsburgh finished ahead of Jacksonville in the AFC Central based on better net division points (78 to Jaguars' 23).
Oakland finished ahead of San Diego in the AFC West based on better division record (2–6 to Chargers' 1–7).
San Francisco was the top NFC playoff seed based on better conference record than Green Bay (11–1 to Packers' 10–2).
Detroit finished ahead of Minnesota in the NFC Central based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).
Carolina finished ahead of Atlanta in the NFC West based on head-to-head sweep (2–0).