1979 Houston Oilers season

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1979 Houston Oilers season
Head coach Bum Phillips
Owner Bud Adams
Home field Astrodome
Results
Record 11–5
Division place 2nd AFC Central
Playoff finish Lost AFC Championship Game (Steelers)

The 1979 season was the Houston Oilers 20th season and their tenth in the National Football League (NFL). The franchise scored 362 points while the defense gave up 331 points. Their record of 11 wins and 5 losses resulted in a second-place finish in the AFC Central Division. The Oilers appeared once on Monday Night Football and returned to the AFC Championship Game for the second consecutive year. Earl Campbell would lead the NFL in rushing for the second consecutive year and set a franchise record for most touchdowns in a season with 19. The Oilers would make the playoffs again as a wild card. In the wild card game, they beat the Denver Broncos 13-7, and then defeated the San Diego Chargers 17-14 in San Diego to reach their second straight AFC Championship game. Unfortunately for them, they had to once again run into the Pittsburgh Steelers, who a year earlier had eliminated them 34-5 in the previous AFC Championship game. The Oilers lost the game 27-13. The game included a controversial moment in which wide receiver Mike Renfro had a touchdown called back after the referees of the game took a long decision to decide the ruling on the field. The call went down as one of the most controversial calls in NFL history.

Offseason[edit]

NFL draft[edit]

1979 Houston Oilers draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
2 31 Mike Stensrud  Defensive tackle Iowa State
2 50 Jesse Baker  Defensive end Jacksonville State
3 72 Kenny King *  Running back Oklahoma
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[1]

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1979 Houston Oilers staff
Front office

Head coaches

  • Head Coach – Bum Phillips

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams – John Paul Young


Roster[edit]

1979 Houston Oilers roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams


Rookies in italics

[2]

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 2, 1979 at Washington Redskins W 29–27
54,582
2 September 9, 1979 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 38–7
49,792
3 September 16, 1979 Kansas City Chiefs W 20–6
45,684
4 September 23, 1979 at Cincinnati Bengals W 30–27
45,615
5 September 30, 1979 Cleveland Browns W 31–10
48,915
6 October 7, 1979 St. Louis Cardinals L 24–17
53,043
7 October 14, 1979 at Baltimore Colts W 28–16
45,021
8 October 21, 1979 at Seattle Seahawks L 34–14
60,705
9 October 28, 1979 New York Jets W 27–24
45,825
10 November 5, 1979 at Miami Dolphins W 9–6
70,273
11 November 11, 1979 Oakland Raiders W 31–17
48,614
12 November 18, 1979 Cincinnati Bengals W 42–21
49,829
13 November 22, 1979 at Dallas Cowboys W 30–24
63,897
14 December 2, 1979 at Cleveland Browns L 14–7
69,112
15 December 10, 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers W 20–17
55,293
16 December 16, 1979 Philadelphia Eagles L 26–20
49,407

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1 at Washington Redskins[edit]

Week 2 at Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

Week 3 vs. Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

Week 4 at Cincinnati Bengals[edit]

Week 5 vs. Cleveland Browns[edit]

Week 6 vs. St. Louis Cardinals[edit]

Week 7 at Baltimore Colts[edit]

Week 8 at Seattle Seahawks[edit]

Week 9 vs. New York Jets[edit]

Week 10 at Miami Dolphins[edit]

Week 11 vs. Oakland Raiders[edit]

Week 12 vs. Cincinnati Bengals[edit]

Week 13 at Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Week 13
1 2 3 4 Total
• Oilers 7 10 6 7 30
Cowboys 14 7 0 3 24

[3]

Week 14 at Cleveland Browns[edit]

Week 15 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

Week 16 vs. Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

Standings[edit]

AFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Pittsburgh Steelers(2) 12 4 0 .750 4–2 9–3 416 262 W1
Houston Oilers(4) 11 5 0 .688 4–2 9–3 362 331 L1
Cleveland Browns 9 7 0 .563 2–4 6–6 359 352 L2
Cincinnati Bengals 4 12 0 .250 2–4 2–10 337 421 W1

Postseason[edit]

AFC Wild Card vs. Denver Broncos[edit]

Houston Oilers 13, Denver Broncos 7
1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 7 0 0 0 7
Oilers 3 7 0 3 13

at Houston Astrodome, Houston

The Oilers managed to shut down the Broncos offense for most of the game en route to a 13–7 win.

AFC Divisional Playoff at San Diego Chargers[edit]

Houston Oilers 17, San Diego Chargers 14
1 2 3 4 Total
Oilers 0 10 7 0 17
Chargers 7 0 7 0 14

at San Diego Stadium, San Diego

The Oilers offense, playing without starting quarterback Dan Pastorini, receiver Ken Burrough, and running back Earl Campbell, could only generate 259 yard compared to San Diego's 385. But they still won the game, largely due to the effort of rookie safety Vernon Perry, who set a playoff record with 4 interceptions as the Oilers defeated the Chargers, 17–14. In his first career playoff game, Chargers future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts threw for 333 yards, but was intercepted 5 times.

AFC Championship Game at Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Houston Oilers 13
1 2 3 4 Total
Oilers 7 3 0 3 13
Steelers 3 14 0 10 27

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Steelers held the Oilers to only 24 rushing yards, but were also aided by a controversial non-touchdown call on Mike Renfro to come away with a 27–13 win.

Awards and records[edit]

Milestones[edit]

  • Earl Campbell, 2nd 1,000 yard rushing season
  • Earl Campbell, 2nd NFL Rushing Title

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1979 Houston Oilers draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ "1979 Houston Oilers starters and roster". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Nov-09.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 19, 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 

External links[edit]