How would you rank odd / unusual seasons?

Re: How would you rank odd / unusual seasons?

Postby Crazy Packers Fan » Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:48 pm

Oszuscik wrote:
74_75_78_79_ wrote:’99, ’00, & ’01 can each be considered “unusual” in that there were now 31 teams in the league with the re-addition of Cleveland. Every single week someone had a bye. Six teams in the AFC Central which, looking back, I actually didn’t mind at all! Of course, in ’01, the games were delayed due to 9/11. Each Super Bowl during that span was won by an “out-of-nowhere” team. Of all six SB-participants-period, the only one that wasn’t a surprise going into the season were the ’01 Rams.


The 1999 season I think was the most jarring. Football as we knew it in the 90's really seemed to "end". In Green Bay Holmgren was gone and after a "race for points" with Carolina in Week 17 the Packers missed the playoffs for the first time in six years. After two decades of dominance San Francisco went 4-12 and Steve Young's career ended after three games. Michael Irvin's career ended after four games and though the Cowboys snuck into the playoffs it was clear that their dynasty was over. Dan Marino played his final year in 1999. John Elway was now retired and after back-to-back Super Bowl wins the Broncos missed the playoffs. Kurt Warner and the Rams came out of nowhere to absolutely dominate the league. The Music City Miracle. A playoff game decided by 55 points. A Super Bowl decided by one yard.

The 1999 season was jarring, unexpected, and really closed the book on the 90's.


When I read the topic title, I immediately thought 1999. And it's for the reasons you described. I'll never forget that points race that year; since my family didn't have Internet yet, I was calculating from the Sunday newspaper as the games were going on.

The Rams and Titans both were afterthoughts entering the season, and they ended up playing one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time. Another unusual thing about that year was that Monday Night Football had a two-man booth for the first time since 1986. And that exact booth lasted only one season! Al Michaels and Boomer Esiason nearly got into a fist fight on the final drive of Super Bowl XXXIV; go back and watch it and you'll see what I mean. Those two guys hated each other's guts, of which there's documented evidence.

1999 had two 8-8 teams make the playoffs. There hadn't been an 8-8 team in the playoffs since 1985. Only this time, the 8-8 teams were wild cards, not a weak division winner (Cleveland in 1985). The NFC produced only four teams with winning records. And its championship game ended in a score of 11-6, with the Bert Emanuel controversy at the end.

However, it's for all those reasons and the ones you pointed out that I treasure 1999 as one of my favorite seasons ever. I don't see those things as making it bad, in fact I feel like that made it a great season.

If we want to talk the last "great" NFL season, I'd say 2007, but that's a different topic.
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Re: How would you rank odd / unusual seasons?

Postby Todd Pence » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:03 pm

Crazy Packers Fan wrote:
1999 had two 8-8 teams make the playoffs. There hadn't been an 8-8 team in the playoffs since 1985. Only this time, the 8-8 teams were wild cards, not a weak division winner (Cleveland in 1985).



In 1990, the Saints made the playoffs at 8-8, and the Jets did in 1991 as well.
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Re: How would you rank odd / unusual seasons?

Postby Crazy Packers Fan » Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:53 am

Todd Pence wrote:
Crazy Packers Fan wrote:
1999 had two 8-8 teams make the playoffs. There hadn't been an 8-8 team in the playoffs since 1985. Only this time, the 8-8 teams were wild cards, not a weak division winner (Cleveland in 1985).



In 1990, the Saints made the playoffs at 8-8, and the Jets did in 1991 as well.

You're right, I should have known that, but it slipped my mind.
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Re: How would you rank odd / unusual seasons?

Postby Oszuscik » Sun Nov 27, 2022 5:46 pm

Crazy Packers Fan wrote:
Oszuscik wrote:
74_75_78_79_ wrote:’99, ’00, & ’01 can each be considered “unusual” in that there were now 31 teams in the league with the re-addition of Cleveland. Every single week someone had a bye. Six teams in the AFC Central which, looking back, I actually didn’t mind at all! Of course, in ’01, the games were delayed due to 9/11. Each Super Bowl during that span was won by an “out-of-nowhere” team. Of all six SB-participants-period, the only one that wasn’t a surprise going into the season were the ’01 Rams.


The 1999 season I think was the most jarring. Football as we knew it in the 90's really seemed to "end". In Green Bay Holmgren was gone and after a "race for points" with Carolina in Week 17 the Packers missed the playoffs for the first time in six years. After two decades of dominance San Francisco went 4-12 and Steve Young's career ended after three games. Michael Irvin's career ended after four games and though the Cowboys snuck into the playoffs it was clear that their dynasty was over. Dan Marino played his final year in 1999. John Elway was now retired and after back-to-back Super Bowl wins the Broncos missed the playoffs. Kurt Warner and the Rams came out of nowhere to absolutely dominate the league. The Music City Miracle. A playoff game decided by 55 points. A Super Bowl decided by one yard.

The 1999 season was jarring, unexpected, and really closed the book on the 90's.


When I read the topic title, I immediately thought 1999. And it's for the reasons you described. I'll never forget that points race that year; since my family didn't have Internet yet, I was calculating from the Sunday newspaper as the games were going on.

The Rams and Titans both were afterthoughts entering the season, and they ended up playing one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time. Another unusual thing about that year was that Monday Night Football had a two-man booth for the first time since 1986. And that exact booth lasted only one season! Al Michaels and Boomer Esiason nearly got into a fist fight on the final drive of Super Bowl XXXIV; go back and watch it and you'll see what I mean. Those two guys hated each other's guts, of which there's documented evidence.

1999 had two 8-8 teams make the playoffs. There hadn't been an 8-8 team in the playoffs since 1985. Only this time, the 8-8 teams were wild cards, not a weak division winner (Cleveland in 1985). The NFC produced only four teams with winning records. And its championship game ended in a score of 11-6, with the Bert Emanuel controversy at the end.

However, it's for all those reasons and the ones you pointed out that I treasure 1999 as one of my favorite seasons ever. I don't see those things as making it bad, in fact I feel like that made it a great season.

If we want to talk the last "great" NFL season, I'd say 2007, but that's a different topic.


Two years after the fact, but I’d like to know why you consider 2007 the last “great” NFL season. Let’s hear it!
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Re: How would you rank odd / unusual seasons?

Postby GameBeforeTheMoney » Mon Nov 28, 2022 12:14 pm

Wow -- two really interesting topics here on this thread.

And like mentioned before, while it is odd that Washington won both strike-season SBs, their team performance throughout that era clearly demonstrates their respectability. And that 1991 team, I'm sure it's been said here before but it's worth mentioning that that team should be in "one of the greatest seasons of all-time" conversation.

That said, the 87 season is one that I kind of discount, not Washington or Denver being in the Super Bowl, but overall. It was kind of a crapshoot as to whether the replacement players won games or not, and it probably affected some teams making/not making the playoffs. I don't know which ones off the top of my head, but I'm sure a few of you can remember a team or two that benefitted or lost out because of how their replacements performed.

Hadn't really thought about when the last truly great season was -- I guess I've always seen the Rams/Patriots SB as the cutoff point.

1980 was kind of a strange year, too -- you had that crazy Chester Marcol play in week 1, that crazy Thanksgiving Bears/Lions game with the KO return winning it, and all AFC playoff teams were 11-5. The Raiders won the SB, not the greatest Raider team but they had the heart to win it all. Dallas didn't have Roger Staubach anymore after he retired because of too many concussions. The Steelers fell way short of getting "one for the thumb" and the Oilers fired Bum Phillips at the end.
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Re: How would you rank odd / unusual seasons?

Postby ChrisBabcock » Mon Nov 28, 2022 2:32 pm

That said, the 87 season is one that I kind of discount, not Washington or Denver being in the Super Bowl, but overall. It was kind of a crapshoot as to whether the replacement players won games or not, and it probably affected some teams making/not making the playoffs. I don't know which ones off the top of my head, but I'm sure a few of you can remember a team or two that benefitted or lost out because of how their replacements performed.


Loooong ago, when p-f-r had a blog, someone posted a lighthearted article on how differently history would have unfolded had the 1987 strike never happened. He eliminated the replacement games, simulated the then missing 4 games from the schedule, and came up with "complete" 1987 season standings. Some different playoff teams and seedings led to a ripple effect something like Belichick would build the Browns into a Patriot-esque dynasty in the 1990s. :lol:
For the life of me I can't find that article now.
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Re: How would you rank odd / unusual seasons?

Postby RRMarshall » Mon Nov 28, 2022 6:32 pm

1980 was kind of a strange year, too -


I'd also give a nod to the 1980 season. With the collapse of the Steeler's Dynasty a power vacuum opened up with a lot of surprise contenders rushing to fill the void. The Browns returned to the postseason for the first time since 1972, the Bills since 1974. and the Raiders since 1977. Toss in some superb postseason games from the Bills-Chargers, Browns-Raiders, and Cowboys-Falcons and it made for a memorable if not unlikely season.
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Re: How would you rank odd / unusual seasons?

Postby 74_75_78_79_ » Mon Nov 28, 2022 8:09 pm

Oszuscik wrote:Two years after the fact, but I’d like to know why you consider 2007 the last “great” NFL season. Let’s hear it!


Whether one sees 2007 that very way or not, there is quite plenty to say of it! And sure enough when Crazy Packers Fan responds, at least most of the examples he'll give would be ones I'd give as well. Just to list one - it was, of course, Favre's final year with Green Bay. And that wouldn't even be among the first couple examples that I'd list.

ChrisBabcock wrote:
That said, the 87 season is one that I kind of discount, not Washington or Denver being in the Super Bowl, but overall. It was kind of a crapshoot as to whether the replacement players won games or not, and it probably affected some teams making/not making the playoffs. I don't know which ones off the top of my head, but I'm sure a few of you can remember a team or two that benefitted or lost out because of how their replacements performed.


Loooong ago, when p-f-r had a blog, someone posted a lighthearted article on how differently history would have unfolded had the 1987 strike never happened. He eliminated the replacement games, simulated the then missing 4 games from the schedule, and came up with "complete" 1987 season standings. Some different playoff teams and seedings led to a ripple effect something like Belichick would build the Browns into a Patriot-esque dynasty in the 1990s. :lol:
For the life of me I can't find that article now.


Yes, quite an interesting article that was, lol.
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Re: How would you rank odd / unusual seasons?

Postby vikingsfan1963 » Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:34 pm

I agree that the 1970 season is one of the most unusual with lots of mediocrity for some reason. I still say the Vikings win the SB that year if Joe Kapp had stuck around for 1 more season. Not that he had Hall of Fame talent but his leadership was sorely missed in 70 and 71 when the Vikes had great defenses.
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Re: How would you rank odd / unusual seasons?

Postby Brian wolf » Tue Nov 29, 2022 6:15 pm

1967 for me ... The owners wanted realignment and extra revenue from a new playoff format that changed the postseason for the first time since 1933(other than playoffs for the division). With an extra bye week, the AFL Raiders might have taken advantage of the Packers in the SB but didnt capitalize, as the Packers stayed sharp throughout ... In 68 and 69 however, I believe the AFL took advantage of the extra week off compared to the NFL playoffs.
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