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 Nolan was fired after this game 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.