Helmet Designs and History of the 1995 NFL Season

The 1995 NFL Season brought numerous changes throughout the NFL, most notably that it was the final season of the Cleveland Browns’ first stint in Cleveland. Other changes, as listed below include the addition of two new NFL franchises in the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers, both of whom would soon see more success than any expansion NFL franchise before or since during their formative seasons.

Recall what I said when talking about the 1990 season with darker colors coming into play, starting with the New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons. Well, our two newest teams both added the color black for 1995. Also, you’ll see darker colors associated with the New England Patriots, which would become more paramount as the NFL tumbled into a new century.

For these aesthetic reasons, I’ll also be covering the 1996 season, which brought about the Baltimore Ravens due to the Browns’ relocation controversy. I’ll also cover 1998 as well, since the Houston Oilers would relcate to Tennessee and become the Tennessee Oilers for two seasons. And I’ll also cover 1999, which saw the return of the Cleveland Browns and the retirement of the Oilers’ name as the Tennessee Titans were born.

Speaking of relocations, 1995 saw two of them, starting with the St. Louis Rams, who moved to Missouri after spending 49 seasons in Los Angeles (the Rams would return to the City of Angels in 2016) and the Raiders returned to Oakland after spending a decade and a half in Los Angeles, leaving the NFL’s second largest market without a franchise in LA until the Rams returned.

 

==> Related: Helmet Designs of the 1990 Season <==

 

AFC East

Okay, lots of changes here regarding the Patriots, who have a new silver shell and new logo, introducing Flying Elvis. The Colts now have a blue facemask, which they would keep until the early 2000s.

Buffalo Bills: 10-6

1995 Bills

 

Indianapolis Colts: 9-7

1995 Colts

 

Miami Dolphins: 9-7

 

New England Patriots: 6-10

 

1995 Patriots

 

New York Jets: 3-13

Jets 1990-1997

 

AFC Central

No new helmets here, but a new franchise in the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were founded two seasons prior and started play in 1995. The Jaguars would remain in the AFC Central for the next six seasons. This is also the final time we’ll see the Cleveland Browns until 1999 and also, the Houston Oilers will soon be packing their bags for Tennessee (I’ll be covering the 1996, 1997 and 1999 seasons to demonstrate the flow).

Pittsburgh Steelers: 11-5

 

Cincinnati Bengals: 7-9

 

Houston Oilers: 8-8

 

Cleveland Browns: 5-11

 

Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-12

 

AFC West

The Raiders made their return to Oakland.

Kansas City Chiefs: 13-3

1995 Chiefs

 

San Diego Chargers: 9-7

San Diego Chargers 1988-2006

 

Seattle Seahawks: 8-8

1995 Seahawks

 

Denver Broncos: 8-8

Denver Broncos 1975-1996

 

Oakland Raiders: 8-8

1995 Raiders

 

NFC East

The Phoenix Cardinals have since changed their name to the Arizona Cardinals, and have been known as such ever since.

Dallas Cowboys: 12-4

1995 Cowboys

 

Philadelphia Eagles: 10-6

Philadelphia Eagles 1974-1995

 

Washington Redskins: 6-10

1995 Redskins

 

New York Giants: 5-11

New York Giants 1981-1999

 

Arizona Cardinals: 4-12

Arizona Cardinals 1960-2004

 

NFC Central

Green Bay Packers: 11-5

1995 Packers

 

Detroit Lions: 10-6

Detroit Lions 1983-2002

 

Chicago Bears: 9-7

1995 Bears

 

Minnesota Vikings: 8-8

Minnesota Vikings 1983-2005

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 7-9

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1976-1996

 

==> Related: Helmet Designs of the 1987 Season <==

 

NFC West

A second new franchise has come to us in the Carolina Panthers, who also started play with their expansion brethren in 1995. Also, the Rams relocated to St. Louis, after the city spent half a decade trying to field either an expansion franchise or one through relocation, see St. Louis Stallions.

San Francisco 49ers: 11-5

1995 49ers

 

Atlanta Falcons: 9-7

1995 Falcons

 

St. Louis Rams: 7-9

1995 Rams

 

Carolina Panthers: 7-9

1995 Panthers

 

New Orleans Saints: 7-9

 

AFC Championship Game

Indianapolis Colts: 16

Pittsburgh Steelers: 20

In a defensive struggle, the Steelers led the Cinderella Colts 13-9 heading into the fourth quarter. The Colts then scored midway through the fourth, taking a 16-13 lead and looking to become the first #5 seed to earn a trip to the Super Bowl since the 1990 NFL Playoff Expansion, which allowed six teams in the tournament instead of five.

However, a botched drive from the Colts allowed the Steelers to take possession in good field position and drive 67 yards down the field to take the lead at 20-16.

The Colts embarked on another drive to the Steelers’ 29 with a few seconds remaining, but needed a touchdown to win the game. This gave them time for one last shot at the end zone and for a second, wide receiver Aaron Bailey looked as if he came down with a game winner, but the ball bounced to the turf, sealing the Steelers’ fifth AFC Championship.

 

==> Related: Helmet Designs of the 1978 Season <==

 

NFC Championship Game

Green Bay Packers: 27

Dallas Cowboys: 38

Two inter-conference rivals faced off in the playoffs at Texas Stadium, taking a 24-

17 lead at halftime before the Packers surged back in the third quarter, leading 27-24 going into the fourth and looking to prevent the Cowboys to make it to their third Super Bowl in four seasons.

However, a few plays into the fourth the Cowboys regained the lead, going up 31-27. The Packers set up a drive that was ended by an interception from Larry Brown, leading to another touchdown from running back Emmitt Smith, granting the Cowboys their third NFC Championship in four seasons and eighth overall.

 

==> Related: Helmet Designs of the 1970 Season <==

 

Super Bowl XXX

Pittsburgh Steelers: 17

Dallas Cowboys: 27

Hoping to avenge two Super Bowl losses to the Steelers in the 1970s, the Cowboys came out firing, taking a 13-0 lead in the first two quarters. Toward the end of the half, Steelers’ quarterback Neil O’Donnell connected with Yancy Thigpen to put the Steelers on the board at 13-7.

In the second half, Emmitt Smith put the Cowboys in command with a one-yard touchdown run, giving the team a 20-7 lead. However, the Steelers mounted a comeback, closing the gap to three points to make the score 20-17, before the Cowboys sealed the deal with four minutes to go with a touchdown, winning the game 27-17.

The victory gave the Cowboys a fifth Super Bowl, tying a record held by the San Francisco 49ers. Coincidentally, it would be the Steelers breaking Dallas’ tied record in 2008 when they won Super Bowl XLIII over the Arizona Cardinals; becoming the first team to win six Super Bowls, holding the record for ten seasons before the New England Patriots tied it after Super Bowl LIII.

The Cowboys have since failed to advance past the Divisional Playoffs despite fielding some powerhouse teams.

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2 comments

  1. I always liked that Miami Dolphins helmet, because aqua green is my favorite color. I like that Bengals helmet too. Great stripe pattern. I like the Vikings helmet, with the horns on the side. Thanks for all the graphics, and the explanations of what was going on, with the teams at the time. Your football knowledge is very extensive. I hope people find your website when looking up football information. 

    1. They’ve been finding it more and more, especially in terms of Google, which is a massive plus. 

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