The 1972Houston Oilers season was their 13th season overall and third with the league. The team failed to improve on their previous season's output of 4–9–1, winning only one game. They missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
The low point of the season came in week four, a 34–0 loss on Monday Night Football to the Oakland Raiders. With the game out of hand, ABC cameras panned the stands at the Astrodome and found a man who appeared to be sleeping. When he realized the camera was on him, he shot the finger at the camera. When the camera discovered the sleeping fan, Howard Cosell intoned, "Right there, is a vivid pictureization of the excitement...". Don Meredith shot back when the fan flipped the bird, "They're number one in the nation!"