1978 Houston Oilers season

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1978 Houston Oilers season
Head coach Bum Phillips
Home field Astrodome
Results
Record 10–6
Division place 2nd AFC Central
Playoff finish Won Wild Card Playoffs (Dolphins) 17–9
Won Divisional Playoffs (Patriots) 31–14
Lost Conference Championship (Steelers) 5–34
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1977 1979 >

The 1978 season was the Houston Oilers 19th season and their ninth in the NFL. The franchise scored 283 points while the defense gave up 298 points. Their record of 10 wins and 6 losses resulted in a second place finish in the AFC Central Division.

Season summary[edit]

The Oilers appeared twice on Monday Night Football. In their first appearance on Monday Night Football, the Oilers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 24–17. In their second appearance, the Oilers defeated the Miami Dolphins 35–30. The Oilers number one draft pick, Earl Campbell, a 5–11, 232-pound ball-carrying dynamo from the University of Texas, joined the Houston Oilers as the first player taken in the 1978 National Football League Draft. The first player to earn All-Southwest Conference honors four years, Campbell was a consensus All-America and the Heisman Trophy winner in 1977. Campbell took the NFL by storm right from the very start. In 1978, he was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player, All-Pro, and Rookie of the Year. He won the league rushing championship with 1,450 yards and was named to the AFC Pro Bowl squad. Possibly the highlight of the Oilers' fantastic season was the contest against the Miami Dolphins, in which Campbell racked up 199 yards, 81 of them coming on a TD run in the fourth quarter.[1]

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

Pick # NFL Team Player Position College
1 Houston Oilers Earl Campbell Running Back Texas

Regular season[edit]

On November 20, 1978, the Oilers took on the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. In order to boost team spirit, the Oilers gave each fan a blue and white pom-pon before the game. The sight of over 70,000 fans waving the pom-pons inspired the Oilers to a 35–30 victory, behind Campbell's 199 rushing yards. This would be the start of Luv Ya Blue.

Schedule[edit]

Game Date Opponent Result Oilers points Opponents Oilers first downs Record Attendance
1 Sep 3 at Atlanta Falcons Loss 14 20 13 0–1
57,328
2 Sep 10 at Kansas City Chiefs Win 20 17 15 1–1
40,213
3 Sep 17 San Francisco 49ers Win 20 19 23 2–1
46,161
4 Sep 24 Los Angeles Rams Loss 6 10 10 2–2
45,749
5 Oct 1 at Cleveland Browns Win 16 13 20 3–2
72,776
6 Oct 8 at Oakland Raiders Loss 17 21 20 3–3
52,550
7 Oct 15 Buffalo Bills Win 17 10 17 4–3
47,727
8 Oct 23 at Pittsburgh Steelers Win 24 17 22 5–3
48,021
9 Oct 29 at Cincinnati Bengals Loss 13 28 15 5–4
50,532
10 Nov 5 Cleveland Browns Win 14 10 18 6–4
45,827
11 Nov 12 at New England Patriots Win 26 23 24 7–4
60,356
12 Nov 20 Miami Dolphins Win 35 30 23 8–4
50,290
13 Nov 26 Cincinnati Bengals Win 17 10 17 9–4
43,245
14 Dec 3 Pittsburgh Steelers Loss 3 13 9 9–5
54,261
15 Dec 10 at New Orleans Saints Win 17 12 16 10–5
63,169
16 Dec 17 San Diego Chargers Loss 24 45 14 10–6
49,554

[2]

Standings[edit]

AFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA
Pittsburgh Steelers(1) 14 2 0 .875 5–1 11–1 356 195
Houston Oilers(5) 10 6 0 .625 4–2 8–4 283 298
Cleveland Browns 8 8 0 .500 1–5 4–8 334 356
Cincinnati Bengals 4 12 0 .250 2–4 2–10 252 284

Roster[edit]

Houston Oilers roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Practice Squad

Rookies in italics

Playoffs[edit]

AFC Wild Card[edit]

Houston Oilers 17, Miami Dolphins 9
1 2 3 4 Total
Oilers 7 0 0 10 17
Dolphins 7 0 0 2 9

at Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida

Quarterback Dan Pastorini led the Oilers to an upset victory by passing for 306 yards.

AFC Divisional Playoff[edit]

Houston Oilers 31, New England Patriots 14
1 2 3 4 Total
Oilers 0 21 3 7 31
Patriots 0 0 7 7 14

at Schaefer Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

Quarterback Dan Pastorini led the Oilers to a victory by throwing for 200 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Earl Campbell rushed for 118 yards and a score.

AFC Championship Game[edit]

Pittsburgh Steelers 34, Houston Oilers 5
1 2 3 4 Total
Oilers 0 3 2 0 5
Steelers 14 17 3 0 34

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

On a wet, slick, and slippery field, the Steelers dominated the Oilers by forcing 9 turnovers and only allowing 5 points.

Awards and records[edit]

Milestones[edit]

  • Earl Campbell, 1st 1,000 yard rushing season
  • Earl Campbell, 1st NFL Rushing Title

References[edit]