1987 NAFL season (Jayverse)

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The 1987 NAFL season was the 28th Regular Season of the North American Football League.

Major rule changes

  • If a defensive player commits pass interference in his own end zone, the ball is placed at the 1-yard line, or if the previous spot was inside the 2-yard line, the penalty is half the distance to the goal line.
  • Except for the first onside kick attempt, if a kickoff goes out of bounds, the receiving team takes possession of the ball 30 yards from the spot of the kick or the spot it went out of bounds.
  • In order to stop the clock, the quarterback is permitted to throw the ball out of bounds or to the ground as long as he throws it immediately after receiving the snap.
  • During passing plays, an offensive player cannot chop block (block a defender below the thigh while the defensive player is already engaging another offensive player).
  • Illegal contact by a defensive player beyond the 5-yard zone from the line of scrimmage will not be called if the offensive team is in an obvious punt formation.
  • During kicks and punts, players on the receiving team cannot block below the waist. However, players on the kicking team may block below the waist, but only before the kick is made. On all other plays after a change of possession, no player can block below the waist.
  • Revenue sharing was changed so that NAFL players received a portion of the ticket revenue, while the owners kept the revenue generated by skybox rentals. This led to many teams pushing for new stadiums which lowered many skybox suites from the less-desirable outer rim of a stadium to more desirable locations closer to the field (typically, the midsection or lower) so that the owners could charge more money for the suites, while similarly reducing the ticket revenue by replacing the higher-priced seats with lower-priced “nose bleed” seats. Overall, the number of available general admission seating was also reduced in favor of larger suites.

Referee changes

Chuck Heberling retired during the 1987 off-season. He joined the NAFL in 1965 as a line judge before being promoted to referee in 1972. Fred Silva, who was a swing official in 1986, was given his own crew again.

Rebranding Montreal and Relocating from Milwaukee

The Montreal Beavers rebranded for the 1987 Season by renaming it into the Montreal Alouettes after the team that played in the Old CFL from 1946 to 1954, Before the NFL expanded to Montreal in the addition Milwaukee Mustangs despite of Not Winning a Super Bowl but made their only appearance in Super Bowl XVIII has forced to Put Jim Fitzgerald to sell their team to a group led by Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo, The team will be called the Arizona Firebirds and will be playing in Sun Devil Stadium in Phoenix, AZ as a result the team moved to the NFC South while the Kansas City Colts are now in the NFC North and the St. Louis Gunners now playing the NFC East but they are facing potential relocation to Baltimore, MD for 1988.

Rookie Draft

1987 NAFL Draft Choices

Winnipeg Bombers got the First Pick in the 1987 NAFL Draft to select Heisman Trophy Winning QB Vinny Testaverde from the University of Miami

The Rest of the Draft turn out for the Following Teams and Players being Chosen

Toronto Argonauts draft Cornelius Bennett (LB)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft Hardy Nickerson (LB)

St. Louis Gunners draft Kelly Stouffer (QB)

San Francisco 49ers draft Harris Barton (T)

San Diego Destroyers draft Rod Bernstine (RB)

San Antonio Gunslingers draft Rod Woodson (CB)

Portland Storm draft Jerry Ball (DT)

Pittsburgh Steelers draft Delton Hall (SS)

Ottawa Canadians draft Leo Groenenwegen (G)

Oakland Invaders draft Jim Harbaugh (QB)

New York Giants draft Mark Ingram (WR)

New York Jets draft Roger Vick (RB)

New Orleans Saints draft Shawn Knight (DE)

Montreal Alouettes draft Doug Davies (C)

Miami Dolphins draft John Bosa (DE)

Memphis Steamers draft Bruce Wilkerson (T)

Los Angeles Rams draft Donald Evans (DE)

Las Vegas Gamblers draft Suge Knight (DE)

Kentucky Bourbons draft Marc Logan (RB)

Kansas City Colts draft Paul Palmer (RB)

Houston Oilers draft Haywood Jeffires (WR)

Honolulu Raiders draft Colin Scotts (DT)

Hamilton Tiger-Cats draft Cris Carter (WR)

Green Bay Packers draft Brent Fullwood (RB)

Edmonton Elks draft Blake Marshall (RB)

Detroit Lions draft Reggie Rogers (DE)

Denver Broncos draft Ricky Nattiel (WR)

Dallas Texans draft Danny Noonan (DT)

Cleveland Browns draft Mike Junkin (LB)

Chicago Bears draft Ron Morris (WR)

Calgary Stampeders draft Rocco Romano (G)

Buffalo Bills draft Shane Conlan (LB)

Boston Patriots draft Bruce Armstrong (T)

Atlanta Falcons draft Chris Miller (QB)

Arizona Firebirds draft Tim McDonald (CB)

Philadelphia Eagles draft Jerome Brown (DT)

Seattle Orcas draft Tony Woods (DE)

Green Bay Packers draft Don Majkowski (QB)

Detroit Lions draft Dan Saleaumua (DT)

Denver Broncos draft Tyrone Braxton (SS)

Dallas Cowboys draft Rich Gannon (QB)

Cleveland Browns draft Jeff Jaeger (K)

Buffalo Bills draft Nate Odomes (FS)

Atlanta Falcons draft Elbert Shelley (FS)

Seattle Orcas draft Kevin Gogan (G)

Minnesota Vikings draft Henry Thomas (DT)

Cincinnati Chargers draft John Carney (K)

Vancouver Lumberjacks draft Jamie Taras (G)

Minnesota Vikings draft DJ Dozier (RB)

Birmingham Vulcans draft Ben Tamburello (G)

Southern California Sun draft John Clay (T)

Indianapolis Racers draft Wally Kleine (T)

Cincinnati Chargers draft Jason Buck (DE)

Winnipeg Bombers draft Jessie Tuggle (LB)

Vancouver Lumberjacks draft Paul Shorten (WR)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft Mark Carrier (WR)

St. Louis Gunners draft Tracy Ham (QB)

Pittsburgh Steelers draft Thomas Everett (CB)

Oakland Invaders draft Doug Riesenberg (T)

New York Giants draft Wayne Haddix (SS)

Kansas City Colts draft Christian Okoye (RB)

Pittsburgh Steelers draft Greg Lloyd (LB)

Dalals Texans draft Jeff Criswell (T)

Cleveland Browns draft Frank Winters (C)

Buffalo Bills draft Eric Thomas (SS)

Atlanta Falcons draft John Settle (RB)

Final Standings

NFC East: New York Giants (9-7), Toronto Huskies (8-8), Philadelphia Eagles (7-9), Washington Sentinels (5-11), St. Louis Gunners (5-11), Montreal Alouettes (4-12)

NFC North: Indianapolis Racers (14-2), Kentucky Bourbons (8-8), Chicago Bears (8-8), Green Bay Packers (7-9), Detroit Lions (7-9), Kansas City Colts (6-10)

NFC South: Jacksonville Sharks (13-3), Mexico City Diablos (12-4), Tampa Bay Buccaneerrs (10-6), New Orleans Saints (9-7), Arizona Firebirds (8-8), Dallas Texans (6-10)

NFC West: San Francisco 49ers (11-5), Seattle Orcas (11-5), Sacramento Condors (9-7), Portland Storm (9-7), Los Angeles Rams (5-11), Las Vegas Gamblers (5-11), Denver Broncos (4-12)

AFC East: Brooklyn Barons (11-5), Boston Patriots (11-5), Buffalo Bills (10-6), Ottawa Canadians (9-7), New York Jets (7-9), Hamilton Tiger-Cats (5-11)

AFC North: Minnesota Vikings (11-5), Cincinnati Chargers (10-6), Cleveland Browns (8-8), Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-10), Pittsburgh Steelers (3-13), Winnipeg Bombers (2-14)

AFC South: San Antonio Gunslingers (13-3), Birmingham Vulcans (11-5), Memphis steamers (10-6), Atlanta Falcons (10-6), Houston Oilers (7-9), Miami Dolphins (3-13)

AFC West: Honolulu Raiders (12-4), Southern California Sun (9-7), Edmonton Elks (9-7), Vancouver Lumberjacks (8-8), Calgary Stampeders (6-10), San Diego Destroyers (5-11), Oakland Invaders (4-12)


AFC Wildcard: Brooklyn def. Birmingham 22-21, Minnesota def. Boston 34-20

NFC Wildcard: San Francisco def. Seattle 24-14, Mexico City def. NY Giants 27-7

AFC Divisional: Honolulu def. Brooklyn 24-21, San Antonio def. Minnesota 41-24

NFC Divisional: San Francisco def. Jacksonville 31-17, Indianapolis def. Mexico City 24-18

AFC Championship: Honolulu def. San Antonio 17-10

NFC Championship: San Francisco def. Indianapolis 34-26

Super Bowl XXII (at Stanford Stadium in Stanford, CA): San Francisco def. Honolulu 17-14

Pro Bowl (at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA): NFC def. AFC 34-25

League Leaders

Passing Yards - Murray Hunter (Indianapolis) 5,310

Passing TD's - Murray Hunter (Indianapolis) 57

Passing Rating - Ron Sally (Jacksonville) 130.8

Rushing Yards - Buford Jordan (Portland) 1,564

Receiving Yards - Merv Lopes (Honolulu) 2,032

Total Points - William Noll (Indianapolis) 151

Tackles - James Colwell (Memphis) 135

Sacks - George Russell (Boston) 17

Interceptions - Darrell Green (Washington), Fred Marion (Indianapolis) & Johnny Morgan (Pittsburgh) 9