1973 Houston Oilers season

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1973 Houston Oilers season
Head coach Bill Peterson and Sid Gillman
Owner Bud Adams
Home field Houston Astrodome
Results
Record 1–13
Division place 4th AFC Central
Playoff finish did not qualify
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1972 1974 >

The 1973 Houston Oilers season was the fourth season in league and the 14th overall. The team matched their previous season’s output of 1–13.[1] They missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, and it was Houston's second-consecutive 1–13 record. Their eighteen consecutive losses after winning the third game in 1972 was an NFL record beaten only by the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976 and 1977 and the Detroit Lions from the last game of 2007 until the third game of 2009, including their 0-16 season of 2008.

Coach Bill Peterson left the team after an 0–5 start, and was replaced by coaching veteran Sid Gillman, who went 1–8 to finish the season. The Oilers’ offense struggled in 1973, ranking last in rushing yards (1388), second worst in yards per play (3.9), and third-worst in both total yards (3307) and first downs (tied at 193).[2]

The 1973 Oilers had one of the worst defenses of all time, statistically; they gave up 447 points during the season, the most ever for a 14-game season in the merger era (1970–1977).[3] Only three teams gave up more points in a 14-game season: the 1966 Giants, the 1963 Broncos, and the 1961 Raiders.[4] Their point-differential of −248 points was the worst in the league that year, and remains one of the ten worst in NFL history.[5] (The second-worst team, the Philadelphia Eagles, gave up 393 points, or 3.8 fewer points per game.) Houston also gave up a league-high 26 touchdown passes in 1973.

They are also the most recent franchise in the NFL to have back-to-back one win seasons; in fact since 1974 not a single NFL franchise has suffered multiple one- or no-win seasons.[6] Since the NFL developed a uniform schedule in 1936, the only other time a franchise has had back-to-back one-win seasons has been the 1949 and 1950 Baltimore Colts.

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 16, 1973 at New York Giants L 34–14
57,979
2 September 23, 1973 at Cincinnati Bengals L 24–10
51,823
3 September 30, 1973 Pittsburgh Steelers L 36–7
39,331
4 October 7, 1973 Los Angeles Rams L 31–26
34,875
5 October 14, 1973 Denver Broncos L 48–20
32,801
6 October 21, 1973 at Cleveland Browns L 42–13
61,146
7 October 28, 1973 at Chicago Bears L 35–14
43,755
8 November 4, 1973 at Baltimore Colts W 31–27
52,707
9 November 11, 1973 Cleveland Browns L 23–13
37,230
10 November 18, 1973 at Kansas City Chiefs L 38–14
68,444
11 November 25, 1973 New England Patriots L 32–0
27,344
12 December 2, 1973 Oakland Raiders L 17–6
25,801
13 December 9, 1973 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 33–7
38,004
14 December 16, 1973 Cincinnati Bengals L 27–24
21,955

Standings[edit]

AFC Central
W L T PCT PF PA STK
Cincinnati Bengals 10 4 0 .714 286 231 W-6
Pittsburgh Steelers 10 4 0 .714 347 210 W-2
Cleveland Browns 7 5 2 .571 234 255 L-2
Houston Oilers 1 13 0 .071 199 447 L-6

References[edit]