2005 NFL season

2005 National Football League season

2005 NFL season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 8, 2005 – January 1, 2006
Start dateJanuary 7, 2006
AFC ChampionsPittsburgh Steelers
NFC ChampionsSeattle Seahawks
Super Bowl XL
DateFebruary 5, 2006
SiteFord Field, Detroit, Michigan
ChampionsPittsburgh Steelers
Pro Bowl
DateFebruary 12, 2006
SiteAloha Stadium
2005 NFL season is located in the United States
AFC teams: West, North, South, East
2005 NFL season is located in the United States
Various Locations Saints
Various Locations
NFC teams: West, North, South, East

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

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. The New England Patriots' streak of 10 consecutive playoff wins and chance at a third straight Super Bowl title 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 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 was also the final full season for Paul Tagliabue as commissioner.


The 2005 NFL Draft was held from April 23 to 24, 2005 at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. With the first pick, the San Francisco 49ers selected quarterback Alex Smith from the University of Utah.

Rule changes

  • The "horse-collar tackle", in which a defender grabs inside the back or side of an opponent's shoulder pads and pulls that player down, is prohibited.[1] Named the "Roy Williams Rule" after the Dallas Cowboys safety whose horse collar tackles during the 2004 season caused serious injuries to several players.
  • Peel-back blocks (in which an offensive player blocks a defender who is moving back toward the direction of his own end zone) below the waist and from the back are now illegal.
  • Unnecessary roughness would be called for blocks away from the play on punters or kickers, similar to the same protection quarterbacks have after interceptions.
  • When time is stopped by officials prior to the snap for any reason while time is in, the play clock resumes with the same amount of time that remained on it – with a minimum of 10 seconds. Previously, the play-clock would be reset to 25 seconds.
  • During field goal and extra point attempts, the defensive team will be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct if it calls consecutive timeouts in an attempt to "ice" the kicker. Previously, the second timeout request was only denied by officials, and thus could be used to distract the kickers.
  • Players cannot run, dive into, cut, or throw their bodies against or on an opponent who is out of the play or should not have reasonably anticipated such contact.
  • If the defensive team commits a dead ball foul following the end of the half, the offensive team may choose to extend the period for one more play. Previously, the half automatically ended without the defensive team being penalized.
  • The prohibition on offensive players pushing other offensive players was removed, allowing plays such as the "Bush Push" (later renamed the "Tush Push" popularized by the Philadelphia Eagles years later).
  • During a punt, if the kicking team illegally touches the ball inside the 5-yard line, the receiving team has the option of either treating the result as a touchback or replaying the down with a 5-yard penalty against the kicking team. Previously, the receiving team's only options were either the latter or taking over possession at the spot of the foul. This change prevents an ineligible player from keeping a kick from entering the end zone and becoming a touchback.
  • If the kicking team commits a penalty, the receiving team can have the option of adding the penalty yardage to the return or taking a penalty and forcing the kicking team to rekick the ball. Previously they could take the latter or decline the penalty.
  • If a team calls for an instant replay challenge after it has used all its challenges or is out of timeouts, it will be assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The penalty will also be assessed if a team calls for a challenge inside of two minutes of either half or overtime, when only the replay assistant can initiate reviews. Previously, the request was only denied by the Referee. This change was made to prevent head coaches from constantly stopping the game for any reason, including to just argue with the Referee.
  • Teams are only able to request an instant replay challenge by tossing their red flag to get the attention of officials. The league decided to do away with the electronic pager/vibrating alert system used by head coaches because practically all of them always used their red flags instead of their pagers anyway. (However, the replay assistant will still use the pagers to notify the officials of a replay request.)

2005 deaths

Regular season

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 the 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 New Orleans Saints' entire 2005 home schedule was played at different venues while the Saints set up temporary operations in San Antonio, Texas. The Saints' first home game scheduled for September 18 against New York Giants was moved to September 19 at Giants Stadium. The impromptu "Monday Night doubleheader" with the game already scheduled (Washington at Dallas) was a success, and was made an annual part of the schedule from 2006 through 2020.

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 three 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 was in 2002, when the Chicago Bears played home games in Champaign, Illinois, 120 miles (200 km) away, due to the reconstruction of Soldier Field.[2] The last NFL team to abandon their home city during a season was the 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 in Akron, Ohio.[3]

Effect of Hurricane Wilma

The October 23 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and 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.[4] The Chiefs won the game, 30–20, and became the first visiting team to travel and play on the same day.[citation needed] Since the game was planned for Sunday afternoon, it is one of the few times in history that the Dolphins wore their white jerseys in a home game played at night.

Regular season standings


AFC East
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(4) New England Patriots 10 6 0 .625 5–1 7–5 379 338 L1
Miami Dolphins 9 7 0 .563 3–3 7–5 318 317 W6
Buffalo Bills 5 11 0 .313 2–4 5–7 271 367 L1
New York Jets 4 12 0 .250 2–4 3–9 240 355 W1
AFC North
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(3) Cincinnati Bengals 11 5 0 .688 5–1 7–5 421 350 L2
(6) Pittsburgh Steelers 11 5 0 .688 4–2 7–5 389 258 W4
Baltimore Ravens 6 10 0 .375 2–4 4–8 265 299 L1
Cleveland Browns 6 10 0 .375 1–5 4–8 232 301 W1
AFC South
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(1) Indianapolis Colts 14 2 0 .875 6–0 11–1 439 247 W1
(5) Jacksonville Jaguars 12 4 0 .750 4–2 9–3 361 269 W3
Tennessee Titans 4 12 0 .250 2–4 3–9 299 421 L3
Houston Texans 2 14 0 .125 0–6 1–11 260 431 L2
AFC West
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(2) Denver Broncos 13 3 0 .813 5–1 10–2 395 258 W4
Kansas City Chiefs 10 6 0 .625 4–2 9–3 403 325 W2
San Diego Chargers 9 7 0 .563 3–3 7–5 418 321 L2
Oakland Raiders 4 12 0 .250 0–6 2–10 290 383 L6
NFC East
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(4) New York Giants 11 5 0 .688 4–2 8–4 422 314 W1
(6) Washington Redskins 10 6 0 .625 5–1 10–2 359 293 W5
Dallas Cowboys 9 7 0 .563 3–3 7–5 325 308 L1
Philadelphia Eagles 6 10 0 .375 0–6 3–9 310 388 L2
NFC North
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(2) Chicago Bears 11 5 0 .688 5–1 10–2 260 202 L1
Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 .563 5–1 8–4 306 344 W1
Detroit Lions 5 11 0 .313 1–5 3–9 254 345 L1
Green Bay Packers 4 12 0 .250 1–5 4–8 298 344 W1
NFC South
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(3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11 5 0 .688 5–1 9–3 300 274 W2
(5) Carolina Panthers 11 5 0 .688 4–2 8–4 391 259 W1
Atlanta Falcons 8 8 0 .500 2–4 5–7 351 341 L3
New Orleans Saints 3 13 0 .188 1–5 1–11 235 398 L5
NFC West
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(1) Seattle Seahawks 13 3 0 .813 6–0 10–2 454 271 L1
St. Louis Rams 6 10 0 .375 1–5 3–9 363 429 W1
Arizona Cardinals 5 11 0 .313 3–3 4–8 311 387 L1
San Francisco 49ers 4 12 0 .250 2–4 3–9 239 428 W2


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Division leaders
1 Indianapolis Colts South 14 2 0 .875 6–0 11–1 .457 .424 W1
2 Denver Broncos West 13 3 0 .813 5–1 10–2 .500 .471 W4
3[a] Cincinnati Bengals North 11 5 0 .688 5–1 7–5 .477 .398 L2
4 New England Patriots East 10 6 0 .625 5–1 7–5 .508 .400 L1
Wild cards
5 Jacksonville Jaguars South 12 4 0 .750 4–2 9–3 .465 .375 W3
6[a] Pittsburgh Steelers North 11 5 0 .688 4–2 7–5 .492 .415 W4
Did not qualify for the postseason
7 Kansas City Chiefs West 10 6 0 .625 4–2 9–3 .504 .475 W2
8[b] Miami Dolphins East 9 7 0 .563 3–3 7–5 .457 .438 W6
9[b] San Diego Chargers West 9 7 0 .563 3–3 7–5 .559 .500 L2
10[c] Baltimore Ravens North 6 10 0 .375 2–4 4–8 .523 .375 L1
11[c] Cleveland Browns North 6 10 0 .375 1–5 4–8 .508 .396 W1
12 Buffalo Bills East 5 11 0 .313 2–4 5–7 .500 .450 L1
13[d] New York Jets East 4 12 0 .250 2–4 3–9 .527 .453 W1
14[d][e][f] Oakland Raiders West 4 12 0 .250 0–6 2–10 .539 .438 L6
15[d][e][f] Tennessee Titans South 4 12 0 .250 2–4 3–9 .512 .219 L3
16 Houston Texans South 2 14 0 .125 0–6 1–11 .535 .344 L2
  1. ^ a b Cincinnati finished ahead of Pittsburgh based on division record.
  2. ^ a b Miami finished ahead of San Diego based on head-to-head victory.
  3. ^ a b Baltimore finished ahead of Cleveland based on division record.
  4. ^ a b c NY Jets finished ahead of Tennessee based on common record. (2–4 vs. 1–5 against: Miami, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Atlanta, and Oakland). Conference tie break was initially used to eliminate Oakland (see below).
  5. ^ a b Oakland finished ahead of Tennessee based on head-to-head victory.
  6. ^ a b While conference record initially eliminated Oakland in the three-way tie with NY Jets, Tennessee, and Oakland, once the NY Jets were ranked above both Tennessee and Oakland, the tiebreaking procedure restarts with the remaining teams, resulting in Oakland ranking above Tennessee.
  7. ^ When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.

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Division leaders
1 Seattle Seahawks West 13 3 0 .813 6–0 10–2 .430 .404 L1
2[a] Chicago Bears North 11 5 0 .688 5–1 10–2 .457 .398 L1
3[a][b][c] Tampa Bay Buccaneers South 11 5 0 .688 5–1 9–3 .449 .426 W2
4[a][c] New York Giants East 11 5 0 .688 4–2 8–4 .492 .432 W1
Wild cards
5[a][b] Carolina Panthers South 11 5 0 .688 4–2 8–4 .449 .409 W1
6 Washington Redskins East 10 6 0 .625 5–1 10–2 .539 .500 W5
Did not qualify for the postseason
7[d] Minnesota Vikings North 9 7 0 .563 5–1 8–4 .484 .382 W1
8[d] Dallas Cowboys East 9 7 0 .563 3–3 7–5 .523 .465 L1
9 Atlanta Falcons South 8 8 0 .500 2–4 5–7 .492 .344 L3
10[e] Philadelphia Eagles East 6 10 0 .375 0–6 3–9 .531 .385 L2
11[e] St. Louis Rams West 6 10 0 .375 1–5 3–9 .484 .365 W1
12[f] Detroit Lions North 5 11 0 .313 1–5 3–9 .504 .300 L1
13[f] Arizona Cardinals West 5 11 0 .313 3–3 4–8 .508 .300 L1
14[g] Green Bay Packers North 4 12 0 .250 1–5 4–8 .531 .453 W1
15[g] San Francisco 49ers West 4 12 0 .250 2–4 3–9 .539 .391 W2
16 New Orleans Saints South 3 13 0 .188 1–5 1–11 .523 .417 L5
  1. ^ a b c d Chicago finished ahead of Tampa Bay and NY Giants based on conference record. Division tie break was initially used to eliminate Carolina (see below).
  2. ^ a b Tampa Bay finished ahead of Carolina based on division record.
  3. ^ a b Tampa Bay finished ahead of NY Giants based on conference record.
  4. ^ a b Minnesota finished ahead of Dallas based on conference record.
  5. ^ a b Philadelphia finished ahead of St. Louis based on head-to-head victory.
  6. ^ a b Detroit finished ahead of Arizona based on head-to-head victory.
  7. ^ a b Green Bay finished ahead of San Francisco based on conference record.
  8. ^ When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest-ranked remaining team from each division.


Within each conference, the four division winners and the top two non-division winners with the best overall regular season records) qualified for the playoffs. The four division winners are seeded 1–4 based on their overall won-lost-tied record, and the wild card teams are seeded 5–6. 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 received a first-round bye. 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 met in the respective AFC and NFC Conference Championship games, hosted by the higher seed. Although the Super Bowl, the championship round of the playoffs, is played at a neutral site, the designated home team is based on an annual rotation by conference.[6]

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
Wild Card playoffs
Divisional playoffs
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

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

Record Player/team Date/opponent Previous record holder[7]
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) January 1, at Green Bay Priest Holmes, Kansas City, 2003 (27)
Most field goals, season Neil Rackers, Arizona (40) January 1, at Indianapolis Tied by 2 players (39)
Most field goals by a team, season Arizona (43) January 1, at Indianapolis Tied by 2 teams (39)

Statistical leaders

Atlanta at Detroit on Thanksgiving, November 24, 2005


Points scored Seattle Seahawks (452)
Total yards gained Kansas City Chiefs (6,192)
Yards rushing Atlanta Falcons (2,546)
Yards passing Arizona Cardinals (4,437)
Fewest points allowed Chicago Bears (202)
Fewest total yards allowed Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4,444)
Fewest rushing yards allowed San Diego Chargers (1,349)
Fewest passing yards allowed Green Bay Packers (2,680)


Scoring Shaun Alexander, Seattle (168 points)
Touchdowns Shaun Alexander, Seattle (28 TDs) *
Most field goals made Neil Rackers, Arizona (40 FGs) *
Rushing yards Shaun Alexander, Seattle (1,880 yards)
Rushing touchdowns Shaun Alexander, Seattle (27 TDs) *
Passer rating Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (104.1 rating)
Passing touchdowns Carson Palmer, Cincinnati (32 TDs)
Passing yards Tom Brady, New England (4,110 yards)
Receptions Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona and Steve Smith, Carolina (103 catches)
Receiving yards Steve Smith, Carolina (1,563 yards)
Receiving touchdowns Steve Smith, Carolina, and Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (12 TDs)
Punt returns Reno Mahe, Philadelphia (12.8 average yards)
Kickoff returns Terrence McGee, Buffalo (30.2 average yards)
Interceptions Ty Law, New York Jets and Deltha O'Neal, Cincinnati (10)
Punting Brian Moorman, Buffalo and Shane Lechler, Oakland (45.7 average yards)
Sacks Derrick Burgess, Oakland (16)
* – Denotes new league record.


Most Valuable Player Shaun Alexander, running back, Seattle
Coach of the Year Lovie Smith, Chicago
Offensive Player of the Year Shaun Alexander, running back, Seattle
Defensive Player of the Year Brian Urlacher, linebacker, Chicago
Offensive Rookie of the Year Carnell Williams, running back, Tampa Bay
Defensive Rookie of the Year Shawne Merriman, linebacker, San Diego
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Tedy Bruschi, linebacker, New England
Steve Smith, wide receiver, Carolina (tie)
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Peyton Manning, quarterback, Indianapolis
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Hines Ward, wide receiver, Pittsburgh

Team superlatives

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


  • Most points scored: Seattle, 452
  • Fewest points scored: Cleveland, 232
  • Most total offensive yards: Kansas City, 6,192
  • Fewest total offensive yards: San Francisco, 3,587
  • Most total passing yards: Arizona, 4,437
  • Fewest total passing yards: San Francisco, 1,898
  • Most rushing yards: Atlanta, 2,546
  • Fewest rushing yards: Arizona, 1,138



  • Fewest points allowed: Chicago, 202
  • Most points allowed: Houston, 431
  • Fewest total yards allowed: Tampa Bay, 4,444
  • Most total yards allowed: San Francisco, 6,259
  • Fewest passing yards allowed: Green Bay, 2,680
  • Most passing yards allowed: San Francisco, 4,427
  • Fewest rushing yards allowed: San Diego, 1,349
  • Most rushing yards allowed: Houston, 2,303


All-Pro Team
Quarterback Peyton Manning, Indianapolis
Running back Shaun Alexander, Seattle
Tiki Barber, N.Y. Giants
Fullback Mack Strong, Seattle
Wide receiver Steve Smith, Carolina
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati
Tight end Antonio Gates, San Diego
Offensive tackle Walter Jones, Seattle
Willie Anderson, Cincinnati
Offensive guard Steve Hutchinson, Seattle
Brian Waters, Kansas City
Alan Faneca, Pittsburgh
Center Jeff Saturday, Indianapolis
Defensive end Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis
Osi Umenyiora, N.Y. Giants
Defensive tackle Jamal Williams, San Diego
Richard Seymour, New England
Outside linebacker Lance Briggs, Chicago
Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay
Inside linebacker Brian Urlacher, Chicago
Al Wilson, Denver
Cornerback Champ Bailey, Denver
Ronde Barber, Tampa Bay
Safety Bob Sanders, Indianapolis
Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh
Special teams
Kicker Neil Rackers, Arizona
Punter Brian Moorman, Buffalo
Kick returner Jerome Mathis, Houston

Coaching changes

Team Departing coach Interim coach Incoming coach Reason for leaving Notes
Cleveland Browns Butch Davis Terry Robiskie Romeo Crennel Resigned
Miami Dolphins Dave Wannstedt Jim Bates Nick Saban
San Francisco 49ers Dennis Erickson Mike Nolan Fired


The New Orleans Saints played in Baton Rouge's Tiger Stadium for four games and in San Antonio's Alamodome for three games due to Louisiana Superdome damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Tiger Stadium's goalposts did not conform to NFL standards due to (a) two supports instead of one and (b) white paint instead of gold. The NFL granted the Saints dispensation to keep LSU's goalposts in place for their games.

In addition, with the RCA and Edward Jones domes both removing their AstroTurf surfaces in favor of the newer next-generation FieldTurf surface, the old first-generation AstroTurf surface ceased to be used in the NFL.

Pro Player Stadium was renamed Dolphins Stadium. Pro Player's parent Fruit of the Loom had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in 1999, and the Pro Player label was discontinued, but that stadium name was kept for several more years.

New uniforms

Defending champions the New England Patriots at the eventual Super Bowl winners the Pittsburgh Steelers, September 25
  • The Arizona Cardinals unveiled a new uniform design featuring trim lines to the outside shoulders, sleeves, and sides of the jerseys and pants. The cardinal helmet logo was also redesigned to be more aggressive.
  • The Buffalo Bills added a third alternative uniform: their 1960s throwbacks with the white helmets and red standing bison logo.
  • The Detroit Lions added black third alternate uniforms at the urging of president Matt Millen, a former Raider.
  • The New York Giants changed their white jerseys to mimic the team's design used in the 1950s. When they last made major changes in 2000, the Giants only modified their blue jerseys to the 1950s look while keeping many of the 1980s elements on their white jerseys, such as the 1980s blue collars instead of the 1950s white collars and red shoulder stripe design.
  • The St. Louis Rams began wearing navy pants with their white jerseys for selected games.


This was the eighth and final year under the league's broadcast contracts with ABC, CBS, Fox, and ESPN to televise Monday Night Football, the AFC package, the NFC package, and Sunday Night Football, respectively.

While CBS and Fox renewed their television contracts to the AFC and the NFC packages, respectively,[10] 2005 marked the final season that ABC held the exclusive rights to televise Monday Night Football. When the TV contracts were renewed, the rights to broadcast MNF were awarded to Disney-owned corporate sibling ESPN. NBC then won the rights to televise Sunday Night Football, marking the first time that the network broadcast NFL games since Super Bowl XXXII in 1998.[11] While the NFL had indicated that it wanted SNF to become the new night for its marquee game, ABC declined to renew, citing that it had lost millions of dollars on the MNF despite generating high ratings, and the network wanted to continue airing the TV series Desperate Housewives on Sunday nights.[12][13] ABC would not air an NFL game again until they began simulcasting ESPN's Wild Card playoff game in January 2016.

Cris Collinsworth left Fox to sit out the 2005 season before joining NBC as a studio analyst the following year, leaving Fox's lead broadcasting team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman in a two-man booth.[14]


  1. ^ "NFL approves ban on horse-collar tackle". NFL.com. Archived from the original on May 27, 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2005.
  2. ^ "NFL History 2001 –". NFL.com. Archived from the original on October 13, 2005. Retrieved October 2, 2005.
  3. ^ Carroll, Bob (August 4, 1999). Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-270174-6.
  4. ^ "Chiefs-Dolphins game moved to Oct. 21". NFL.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2005. Retrieved October 21, 2005.
  5. ^ a b "2005 Conference Standings". NFL.com. Retrieved February 12, 2024.
  6. ^ "NFL Playoff Procedures and Tiebreakers". Yahoo! Sports. December 31, 2006. Archived from the original on January 1, 2010.
  7. ^ "Records". 2005 NFL Record and Fact Book. NFL. 2005. ISBN 1-932994-36-X.
  8. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 2005 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics
  9. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 2005 NFL Opposition & Defensive Statistics
  10. ^ "NFL to remain on broadcast TV". NFL.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2005. Retrieved December 13, 2005.
  11. ^ "NFL announces new prime-time TV packages". NFL.com. Archived from the original on November 30, 2005. Retrieved December 13, 2005.
  12. ^ Miller, James Andrew; Shales, Tom, eds. (2011). Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN. Back Bay Books. p. 547. ISBN 9780316043007. OCLC 668192506.
  13. ^ Leonard Shapiro; Mark Maske (April 19, 2005). "'Monday Night Football' Changes the Channel". The Washington Post. p. A1. Archived from the original on September 22, 2018.
  14. ^ "Collinsworth Jumping To NBC". New York Post. July 13, 2005. Retrieved August 29, 2022.


  • NFL Record and Fact Book. Time Home Entertainment, Incorporated. July 26, 2005. ISBN 1-932994-36-X.
  • "NFL turns down proposal on 'down by contact'". NFL.com. May 24, 2005. Archived from the original on February 15, 2006. Retrieved March 29, 2006.
  • 2006 NFL Record and Fact Book. Time Home Entertainment, Incorporated. July 25, 2006. p. 421. ISBN 1-933405-32-5.

External links

  • Football Outsiders 2005 DVOA Ratings