1980 New Orleans Saints season
|1980 New Orleans Saints season|
|Head coach||Dick Nolan
|Home field||Louisiana Superdome|
|Division place||4th NFC West|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
The 1980 New Orleans Saints season was the team's 14th as a member of the National Football League. They were unable to improve on their previous season’s output of 8–8, winning only one game. 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.
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 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, 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).
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), 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.
The 2013 Houston Texans would match the 14 game losing streak of both the 1980 Saints and the 1976 Buccaneers after starting 2-0.
The 1980 Saints continue to hold the worst regular-season record by a team whose stadium hosted the Super Bowl that season (the Oakland Raiders went on to become the first wild card team to win the Super Bowl).
The 1980 Saints are the first team to end the season at 1-15.
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' embarrassment by finishing 1-15, but the 2008 Detroit Lions would exceed it by finishing with an 0-16 record.
|1980 New Orleans Saints draft|
|1||12||Stan Brock||Offensive tackle||Colorado|
|2||41||Dave Waymer *||Defensive back||Notre Dame|
|4||96||Mike Jolly||Defensive back||Michigan|
|7||177||Mike Morucci||Running back||Bloomsburg|
|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|
|Pro Bowl during careerMade roster Made at least one|
|1980 New Orleans Saints staff|
Special teams coaches
Strength and conditioning
|1||September 7, 1980||San Francisco 49ers||L 23–26||
|2||September 14, 1980||at Chicago Bears||L 3–22||
|3||September 21, 1980||Buffalo Bills||L 26–35||
|4||September 28, 1980||at Miami Dolphins||L 16–21||
|5||October 5, 1980||St. Louis Cardinals||L 7–40||
|6||October 12, 1980||at Detroit Lions||L 13–24||
|7||October 19, 1980||Atlanta Falcons||L 14–41||
|8||October 26, 1980||at Washington Redskins||L 14–22||
|9||November 2, 1980||at Los Angeles Rams||L 31–45||
|10||November 9, 1980||Philadelphia Eagles||L 21–34||
|11||November 16, 1980||at Atlanta Falcons||L 13–31||
|12||November 24, 1980||Los Angeles Rams||L 7–27||
|13||November 30, 1980||Minnesota Vikings||L 20–23||
|14||December 7, 1980||at San Francisco 49ers||L 35–38||
|15||December 14, 1980||at New York Jets||W 21–20||
|16||December 21, 1980||New England Patriots||L 27–38||
|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|
- 1980 New Orleans Saints
- Finney Jr., Peter; “Saints Near Record”; in The Bryan Times; December 12, 1980; p. 13
- Litzky, Frank; “Dick Nolan, 75, N.F.L. Coach and Player, Is Dead”; New York Times, November 24, 2007
- "Top 10 greatest comebacks in NFL history". National Football League. 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
- “Saints Finally Snare a Victory”; in St. Petersburg Times; December 15, 1980; p. 7C
- “Finally: Saints Claim First Victory”; Palm Beach Post; December 15, 1980; p. 52
- "1980 New Orleans Saints draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "All-Time Roster". NewOrleansSaints.com. Retrieved November 5, 2014.