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2003 NFL season: Map

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The 2003 regular season of the National Football League (NFL) was the 84th one played by the major professional American football league in the United Statesmarker. Regular season play was held from September 4, 2003 to December 28. Due to damage caused by the Cedar Fire, Qualcomm Stadiummarker was used as an emergency shelter, and thus the Miami DolphinsSan Diego Chargers regular season match on October 27 was instead played at Sun Devil Stadiummarker, the home field of the Arizona Cardinals.

The playoffs began on January 3, 2004. The NFL title was eventually won by the New England Patriots when they defeated the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadiummarker in Houston, Texasmarker on February 1.

Major rule changes

  • If an onside kick inside the final five minutes of the game does not go 10 yards, goes out of bounds, or is touched illegally, the receiving team will have the option of accepting the penalty and getting the ball immediately. Previously, the kicking team was penalized, but had another chance to kick again from five yards back.
  • League officials encouraged networks to immediately cut to a commercial break if an instant replay challenge review was initiated. Previously networks rarely utilized those stoppages for their prescribed commercial periods.


Coaching changes



Final regular season standings

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 green

AFC East
Team W L T PCT PF PA
(1) New England Patriots 14 2 0 .875 348 238
Miami Dolphins 10 6 0 .625 311 261
Buffalo Bills 6 10 0 .375 243 279
New York Jets 6 10 0 .375 283 299
AFC North
Team W L T PCT PF PA
(4) Baltimore Ravens 10 6 0 .625 391 281
Cincinnati Bengals 8 8 0 .500 346 384
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 10 0 .375 300 327
Cleveland Browns 5 11 0 .312 254 322
AFC South
Team W L T PCT PF PA
(3) Indianapolis Colts 12 4 0 .750 447 336
(5) Tennessee Titans 12 4 0 .750 435 324
Jacksonville Jaguars 5 11 0 .312 276 331
Houston Texans 5 11 0 .312 255 380
AFC West
Team W L T PCT PF PA
(2) Kansas City Chiefs 13 3 0 .812 484 332
(6) Denver Broncos 10 6 0 .625 381 301
Oakland Raiders 4 12 0 .250 270 379
San Diego Chargers 4 12 0 .250 313 441
NFC East
Team W L T PCT PF PA
(1) Philadelphia Eagles 12 4 0 .750 374 287
(6) Dallas Cowboys 10 6 0 .625 289 260
Washington Redskins 5 11 0 .312 287 372
New York Giants 4 12 0 .250 243 387
NFC North
Team W L T PCT PF PA
(4) Green Bay Packers 10 6 0 .625 442 307
Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 .562 416 353
Chicago Bears 7 9 0 .438 283 346
Detroit Lions 5 11 0 .312 270 379
NFC South
Team W L T PCT PF PA
(3) Carolina Panthers 11 5 0 .688 325 304
New Orleans Saints 8 8 0 .500 340 326
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 9 0 .438 301 264
Atlanta Falcons 5 11 0 .312 299 422
NFC West
Team W L T PCT PF PA
(2) St. Louis Rams 12 4 0 .750 447 328
(5) Seattle Seahawks 10 6 0 .625 404 327
San Francisco 49ers 7 9 0 .438 384 337
Arizona Cardinals 4 12 0 .250 225 452



Tiebreakers

  • Indianapolis finished ahead of Tennessee in the AFC South based on better head-to-head record (2-0).
  • Denver clinched the AFC 6 seed instead of Miami based on better conference record (9-3 to 7-5).
  • Buffalo finished ahead of N.Y. Jets in the AFC East based on better division record (2-4 to 1-5).
  • Jacksonville finished ahead of Houston in the AFC South based on better division record (2-4 to 1-5).
  • Oakland finished ahead of San Diego in the AFC West based on better conference record (3-9 to 2-10).
  • Philadelphia clinched the NFC 1 seed instead of St. Louis based on better conference record (9-3 to 8-4).
  • Seattle clinched the NFC 5 seed instead of Dallas based on strength of victory (.406 to .388).


Playoffs

Home team in capitals

AFC

  • Wild-Card playoffs: Tennessee 20, BALTIMORE 17; INDIANAPOLIS 41, Denver 10
  • Divisional playoffs: NEW ENGLAND 17, Tennessee 14; Indianapolis 38, KANSAS CITY 31
  • AFC Championship: NEW ENGLAND 24, Indianapolis 14 at Gillette Stadiummarker, Foxboroughmarker, Massachusettsmarker, January 18, 2004


NFC

  • Wild-Card playoffs: CAROLINA 29, Dallas 10; GREEN BAY 33, Seattle 27 (2OT)
  • Divisional playoffs: CAROLINA 29, St. Louis 23 (2OT); PHILADELPHIA 20, Green Bay 17 (OT)
  • NFC Championship: CAROLINA 14, Philadelphia 3 at Lincoln Financial Fieldmarker, Philadelphiamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, January 18, 2004


Super Bowl



Milestones

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

Record Player/Team Date/Opponent Previous Record Holder
Most Touchdowns, Season Priest Holmes, Kansas City (27) N/A Marshall Faulk, St. Louis, 2000 (26)
Most Rushing Yards Gained, Game Jamal Lewis, Baltimore (295) September 14, vs. Cleveland Corey Dillon, Cincinnati vs. Denver, October 22 2000 (278)
Most Consecutive Field Goals Mike Vanderjagt, Indianapolis December 28, at Houston Gary Anderson, 1997-98 (40)
Most Consecutive Road Games Lost Detroit Lions December 21, vs. Carolina Houston Oilers, 1981-84 (23)
Most Consecutive Games with a Sack Tampa Bay Buccaneers (69) November 9, 2003 Dallas Cowboys (68)


Statistical leaders

Team

Points scored Kansas City Chiefs (484)
Total yards gained Minnesota Vikings (6,294)
Yards rushing Baltimore Ravens (2,674)
Yards passing Indianapolis Colts (4,179)
Fewest points allowed New England Patriots (238)
Fewest total yards allowed Dallas Cowboys (4,056)
Fewest rushing yards allowed Tennessee Titans (1,295)
Fewest passing yards allowed Dallas Cowboys (2,631)


Individual

Scoring Jeff Wilkins, St. Louis (163 points)
Touchdowns Priest Holmes, Kansas City (27 TDs)
Most field goals made Jeff Wilkins, St. Louis (39 FGs)
Rushing Jamal Lewis, Baltimore (2,066 yards)
Passing Steve McNair, Tennessee (100.4 rating)
Passing touchdowns Brett Favre, Green Bay (32 TDs)
Pass receiving Torry Holt, St. Louis (117 catches)
Pass receiving yards Torry Holt, St. Louis (1,696)
Punt returns Dante Hall, Kansas City (16.3 average yards)
Kickoff returns Jerry Azumah, Chicago (29.0 average yards)
Interceptions Brian Russell, Minnesota and Tony Parrish, San Francisco (9)
Punting Shane Lechler, Oakland (46.9 average yards)
Sacks Michael Strahan, New York Giants (18.5)


Awards

Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning, Quarterback, Indianapolis and Steve McNair, Quarterback, Tennessee Titans
Coach of the Year Bill Belichick, New England
Offensive Player of the Year Jamal Lewis, Running back, Baltimore
Defensive Player of the Year Ray Lewis, Linebacker, Baltimore
Offensive Rookie of the Year Anquan Boldin, Wide Receiver, Arizona
Defensive Rookie of the Year Terrell Suggs, Linebacker, Baltimore
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Jon Kitna, Quarterback, Cincinnati


Notes



References

  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 2001- (Last accessed October 17, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)



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