1992 NFL season
|Duration||September 6 – December 28, 1992|
|Start date||January 2, 1993|
|AFC Champions||Buffalo Bills|
|NFC Champions||Dallas Cowboys|
|Super Bowl XXVII|
|Date||January 31, 1993|
|Site||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California|
|Date||February 7, 1993|
The 1992 NFL season was the 73rd regular season of the National Football League. Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Andrew, the New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins game that was scheduled for September 6 at Joe Robbie Stadium was rescheduled to October 18. Both teams originally had that weekend off. This marked the first time since the 1966 NFL season and the AFL seasons of 1966 and 1967 that there were byes in week 1; in those years, byes were necessary every week since there were an odd number of teams, which would happen again between 1999 and 2001. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dolphins also had their 2017 season opener postponed due to Hurricane Irma.
The season ended with Super Bowl XXVII when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills 52–17 at the Rose Bowl. This would be the third of the Bills’ four consecutive Super Bowl losses; as of 2021, no team has ever lost three or four Super Bowls in a row (the earliest possible date that these figures could be matched would be either February 2024 and 2025, and that would only happen if the Cincinnati Bengals, who lost Super Bowl LVI in February 2022, lost in the Super Bowl for the next 2–3 seasons). Buffalo would join the Miami Dolphins of the early 1970s as the only team to reach three straight Super Bowls and not until the New England Patriots of the late 2010s would another team reach three in a row.
- April 2, 1992, Brian Baldinger was signed in Plan B free agency by the Buffalo Bills, joining his brother Gary Baldinger.
- August 31, 1992: Brian Baldinger was released by the Buffalo Bills on August 31.
- August 13: Washington traded quarterback Stan Humphries to the San Diego Chargers
- August 27: The San Francisco 49ers traded Pro Bowl Defensive End Charles Haley to the Dallas Cowboys.
- August 28: The Chicago Bears trade offensive lineman Jay Hilgenberg to the Cleveland Browns 
- September 1: The defending AFC Champion Buffalo Bills trade Defensive Tackle Leon Seals to the Philadelphia Eagles.
- September 12: The Atlanta Falcons trade wide receiver Shawn Collins to the Cleveland Browns. 
- September 21: The Pittsburgh Steelers trade Thomas Everett to the Dallas Cowboys.
The 1992 NFL Draft was held from April 26 to 27, 1992 at New York City's Marriott Marquis. With the first pick, the Indianapolis Colts selected defensive tackle Steve Emtman from the University of Washington.
After one season as referee, Stan Kemp stepped down after he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Tom Dooley also retired during the off-season. Gary Lane and Ed Hochuli were then promoted to referee.
Kemp's son, Alex, became an NFL official in 2014 and was promoted to referee in 2018.
Major rule changes
- The NFL ceases to use the instant replay system that was in effect since the 1986 NFL season to review questionable on-field calls, due to many reviews taking up long periods of time. Instant replay would not return to the league until a more comprehensive instant replay review system with time limits was introduced in the 1999 NFL season.
- To reduce injuries, any offensive player who is lined up in the backfield before the snap cannot chop block a defensive player who is already engaged above the waist by another offensive player.
- A maximum of six captains are allowed at midfield for the coin toss. This was in response to Atlanta Falcons coach Jerry Glanville sometimes sending out his entire squad, and Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs sending eight captains to midfield at Super Bowl XXVI.
- Frank Akins: A selection of the Washington Redskins in the 1943 NFL Draft, Akins died on July 6, 1992.
- Eric Andolsek: An offensive lineman with the Detroit Lions, Andolsek was working in the yard of his Thibodaux, Louisiana home when a semi-trailer truck ran off Louisiana Highway 1 in front of his house and struck and killed him on June 23.
- Lyle Alzado: On May 14, 1992 at age 43, Alzado died after a battle with brain cancer. He was buried at River View Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.
- Mel Branch: A starter for the Dallas Texans for the 1962 AFL Championship Game, Branch was also a charter member of the Miami Dolphins in 1966. He died on April 21, 1992
- Jerome Brown: A two-time All-Pro with the Philadelphia Eagles, Brown died on June 25, 1992, at the age of 27, following an automobile accident in Brooksville, in which both he and his 12-year-old nephew were killed when Brown lost control of his ZR1 Chevrolet Corvette at high speed and crashed into a palm tree. Brown was buried in his hometown of Brooksville.
- Shane Curry: A selection of the Indianapolis Colts in the 1991 NFL Draft, Curry was shot and killed outside a Cincinnati nightclub during an argument over a blocked vehicle on May 4, 1992.
- Mike Wise: Was a backup for the Raiders before being released after a fight instigated by a teammate, and had serious injuries which made it impossible for him to resume his career. Committed suicide at his home in California.
Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Buck Buchanan: Buchanan was a defensive tackle with the Kansas City Chiefs in the American Football League (AFL) and in the National Football League (NFL), appearing in Super Bowl I and Super Bowl IV. He was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
|Date||Winning Team||Score||Losing Team||Score||Stadium||City|
|August 2, 1992||Houston Oilers||34||Dallas Cowboys||23||Tokyo Dome||Tokyo|
|August 15, 1992||Miami Dolphins||31||Denver Broncos||27||Olympiastadion||Berlin|
|August 16, 1992||San Francisco 49ers||17||Washington Redskins||15||Wembley Stadium||London|
Highlights of the 1992 season included:
- Thanksgiving: Two games were played on Thursday, November 26, featuring Houston at Detroit and the New York Giants at Dallas, with Houston and Dallas winning.
- Week 16: The San Diego Chargers became the first (as of 2021 the only) team to start 0-4 and made the playoffs and they achieve that feat by beating The Los Angeles Raiders.
There was an unusual deviation between good teams and bad teams in the NFL in 1992. Only one team, the Denver Broncos; finished with eight wins and eight losses, nine teams had at least 11 wins, and eight teams had at least 11 losses. Only six teams had between seven, eight or nine wins in 1992.
- Pittsburgh was the top AFC playoff seed, and Miami was the second AFC playoff seed ahead of San Diego, based on conference record (10–2 to Dolphins’ 9–3 to Chargers’ 9–5).
- Miami finished ahead of Buffalo in the AFC East based on better conference record (9–3 to Bills' 7–5).
- Houston was the second AFC Wild Card based on head-to-head victory over Kansas City (1–0).
- Washington was the third NFC Wild Card based on better conference record than Green Bay (7–5 to Packers' 6–6).
- Tampa Bay finished ahead of Chicago and Detroit in the NFC Central based on better conference record (5–9 to Bears’ 4–8 and Lions’ 3–9).
- Atlanta finished ahead of L.A. Rams in the NFC West based on better record against common opponents (5–7 to Rams’ 4–8).
|Jan 3 – Rich Stadium||Jan 9 – Three Rivers Stadium|
|4||Buffalo||41*||Jan 17 – Joe Robbie Stadium|
|Jan 2 – Jack Murphy Stadium||4||Buffalo||29|
|Jan 10 – Joe Robbie Stadium|
|6||Kansas City||0||AFC Championship|
|3||San Diego||17||Jan 31 – Rose Bowl|
|Wild Card playoffs|
|Jan 3 – Louisiana Superdome||A4||Buffalo||17|
|Jan 10 – Texas Stadium|
|5||Philadelphia||36||Super Bowl XXVII|
|4||New Orleans||20||Jan 17 – Candlestick Park|
|Jan 2 – Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome||2||Dallas||30|
|Jan 9 – Candlestick Park|
* Indicates overtime victory.
|Most Valuable Player||Steve Young, quarterback, San Francisco|
|Coach of the Year||Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh|
|Offensive Player of the Year||Steve Young, Quarterback, San Francisco|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Cortez Kennedy, Defensive Tackle, Seattle|
|Offensive Rookie of the Year||Carl Pickens, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati|
|Defensive Rookie of the Year||Dale Carter, Cornerback, Kansas City|
|NFL Comeback Player of the Year||Randall Cunningham, Quarterback, Philadelphia|
|NFL Man of the Year||John Elway, Quarterback, Denver|
|Super Bowl Most Valuable Player||Troy Aikman, Quarterback, Dallas|
- Cincinnati Bengals: Dave Shula replaced the fired Sam Wyche.
- Green Bay Packers: Mike Holmgren replaced the fired Lindy Infante.
- Indianapolis Colts: Ted Marchibroda was named the permanent replacement, after Ron Meyer was fired after five games in 1991 and Rick Venturi served as interim for the final 11 games. Marchibroda had previously served as head coach of the Colts (then based in Baltimore) from 1975 to 1979.
- Los Angeles Rams: Chuck Knox replaced the fired John Robinson, having previously served as Rams head coach from 1973 to 1977.
- Minnesota Vikings: Dennis Green replaced the retired Jerry Burns.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Bill Cowher replaced the retired Chuck Noll.
- San Diego Chargers: Bobby Ross replaced the fired Dan Henning.
- Seattle Seahawks: Tom Flores replaced Chuck Knox, who resigned to become the Rams' head coach.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sam Wyche replaced the fired Richard Williamson.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers began wearing orange pants with their white jerseys
- "Football". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
- "Transactions". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
- "1992 NFL Transactions. Trades - August". National Football League. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
- "1992 NFL Transactions. Trades - September". National Football League. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
- "Lion Lineman Hit by Truck in Yard, Killed". Los Angeles Times.
- "River View Cemetery". Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
- "Curry of Colts is Fatally Shot". New York Times. May 4, 1992. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
- "History of The Indianapolis Colts". The Indianapolis Star. February 5, 2007. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
- Tucker, Doug (July 17, 1992). "Former Chiefs' standout Buck Buchanon is dead". Nevada Daily Mail. Missouri. Associated Press. p. 8.