1980 New Orleans Saints season

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1980 New Orleans Saints season
Head coach Dick Nolan
Dick Stanfel
Home field Louisiana Superdome
Results
Record 1–15
Division place 4th NFC West
Playoff finish did not qualify
Archie Manning attempting a pass for the Saints during an away game in 1980.

The 1980 New Orleans Saints season was the team's 14th as a member of the National Football League. It was unable to improve on the previous season's output of 8–8, winning only one game.[1] The team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fourteenth consecutive season and had the dubious distinction not only of winning only a single game, but winning it by a single point against the equally disappointing Jets, who like the Saints had widely been predicted before the season to advance to their first playoff appearance for over a decade.[2]

Disgruntled fans called their team “the Aints”, going so far as to show up to games wearing brown paper bags over their heads after their team was 0–12[3] and playing the Los Angeles Rams, to whom they lost 27–7. In embarrassment they called themselves the Unknown Fan (a spinoff from The Unknown Comic) in a practice that would become the trademark of disgruntled fans across various sports in the United States. Coach Dick Nolan was fired after this game,[3] replaced by Dick Stanfel, and then a most notable loss occurred in Week 14. Playing the San Francisco 49ers in Candlestick Park, the Saints charged out to a 35–7 lead at halftime, led by three touchdown passes from Archie Manning and a pair of one-yard touchdown runs from Jack Holmes. However, the 49ers would rally behind quarterback Joe Montana, who would rush for a touchdown and pass for two more. The 49ers would tie the game 35–35 on a fourth-quarter touchdown run by Lenvil Elliott and go on to win in overtime, 38–35, on a Ray Wersching field goal. The 28-point comeback by the 49ers was, at the time, the greatest comeback in NFL history, and currently remains the greatest comeback in NFL regular season history (the 1992 AFC Wildcard game between the Buffalo Bills and Houston Oilers is currently #1, with the Bills overcoming a 32-point deficit to win).[4]

After equalling the 1976 Buccaneers’ single season losing streak and looking likely to become the first team to finish 0–16 when down 7–13 after three quarters on a day of 46 miles per hour (74 km/h) winds and a wind chill-adjusted temperature of 5 °F (−15 °C),[5] quarterback Archie Manning threw a touchdown pass into the gale to Tony Galbreath to go ahead 14–13 and then another to win 21–20.[6]

The 2013 Houston Texans matched the 14 game losing streak of both the 1980 Saints and the 1976 Buccaneers after starting 2–0.

The 1980 Saints were the first team to end the season at 1–15.[citation needed]

The 1989 Dallas Cowboys, 1990 New England Patriots, 1991 Indianapolis Colts, 1996 New York Jets, 2000 San Diego Chargers, 2001 Carolina Panthers, 2007 Miami Dolphins and 2009 St. Louis Rams later matched the 1980 Saints by finishing 1–15, but the 2008 Detroit Lions exceeded it by finishing with an 0–16 record.

Offseason[edit]

NFL draft[edit]

Main article: 1980 NFL draft
1980 New Orleans Saints draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 12 Stan Brock  Offensive tackle Colorado
2 41 Dave Waymer *  Defensive back Notre Dame
4 96 Mike Jolly  Defensive back Michigan
6 150 Lester Boyd  Linebacker Kentucky
7 177 Mike Morucci  Running back Bloomsburg
8 206 Chuck Evans  Linebacker Stanford
9 233 Frank Mordica  Running back Vanderbilt
10 262 Tanya Webb  Defensive end Michigan State
11 289 George Woodard  Running back Texas A&M
12 318 Kiser Lewis  Linebacker Florida A&M
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[7]

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1980 New Orleans Saints staff
Front office
  • President – John W. Mecom, Jr.

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams – Whitey Campbell

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength – Lou Riecke

[8]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 7, 1980 San Francisco 49ers L 23–26
58,621
2 September 14, 1980 at Chicago Bears L 3–22
62,523
3 September 21, 1980 Buffalo Bills L 26–35
51,154
4 September 28, 1980 at Miami Dolphins L 16–21
40,946
5 October 5, 1980 St. Louis Cardinals L 7–40
45,388
6 October 12, 1980 at Detroit Lions L 13–24
78,147
7 October 19, 1980 Atlanta Falcons L 14–41
62,651
8 October 26, 1980 at Washington Redskins L 14–22
51,375
9 November 2, 1980 at Los Angeles Rams L 31–45
59,909
10 November 9, 1980 Philadelphia Eagles L 21–34
44,340
11 November 16, 1980 at Atlanta Falcons L 13–31
53,871
12 November 24, 1980 Los Angeles Rams L 7–27
53,448
13 November 30, 1980 Minnesota Vikings L 20–23
30,936
14 December 7, 1980 at San Francisco 49ers L 35–38
37,949
15 December 14, 1980 at New York Jets W 21–20
38,077
16 December 21, 1980 New England Patriots L 27–38
38,277

Game summaries[edit]

Week 15[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
• Saints 7 0 0 14 21
Jets 0 13 0 7 20

[9]

Standings[edit]

NFC West
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Atlanta Falcons(1) 12 4 0 .750 5–1 10–2 405 272 L1
Los Angeles Rams(5) 11 5 0 .688 5–1 9–3 424 289 W2
San Francisco 49ers 6 10 0 .375 2–4 4–8 320 415 L2
New Orleans Saints 1 15 0 .063 0–6 0–12 291 487 L1

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1980 New Orleans Saints
  2. ^ Finney Jr., Peter; “Saints Near Record”; in The Bryan Times; December 12, 1980; p. 13
  3. ^ a b Litzky, Frank; “Dick Nolan, 75, N.F.L. Coach and Player, Is Dead”; New York Times, November 24, 2007
  4. ^ "Top 10 greatest comebacks in NFL history". National Football League. 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2013-01-03. 
  5. ^ “Saints Finally Snare a Victory”; in St. Petersburg Times; December 15, 1980; p. 7C
  6. ^ “Finally: Saints Claim First Victory”; Palm Beach Post; December 15, 1980; p. 52
  7. ^ "1980 New Orleans Saints draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  8. ^ "All-Time Roster". NewOrleansSaints.com. Retrieved November 5, 2014. 
  9. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com