2003 NFL season

2003 NFL Season

NFL Less

2003 NFL season

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The 2003 NFL season was the 84th regular season of the National Football League.

Regular season play was held from September 4, 2003 to December 28. Due to damage caused by the Cedar Fire, Qualcomm Stadium was used as an emergency shelter, and thus the Miami Dolphins–San Diego Chargers regular season match on October 27 was instead played at Sun Devil Stadium, 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 Stadium in Houston, Texas 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

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