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1979 Houston Oilers season
Owner Bud Adams
President Bud Adams
Head Coach Bum Phillips
General Manager Bum Phillips
Offensive Coordinator Andy Bourgeois
Defensive Coordinator Ed Biles
Home Field Astrodome
Results
Record 11–5
Place 2nd AFC Central
Playoff Finish Won Wild Card Playoffs (vs. Broncos) 13–7
Won Divisional Playoffs (at Chargers) 17–14
Lost AFC Championship (at Steelers) 13–27
Pro Bowlers DE Elvin Bethea
LB Robert Brazile
RB Earl Campbell
K Toni Fritsch
LT Leon Gray
FS Mike Reinfeldt
Timeline
Previous Season Next Season
1978 1980

The 1979 Houston Oilers season was the franchise's 20th overall and the 10th in the National Football League. 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 on December 10, 1979 where the sports promotion Luv ya Blue was launched 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 time to decide the ruling on the field. The call went down as one of the most controversial calls in NFL history.

Offseason

NFL draft

Template:Main article

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
6 143 Daryl Hunt Linebacker Oklahoma
6 159 Mike Murphy Linebacker Southwest Missouri State
7 171 Tim Ries Defensive Back Southwest Missouri State
8 214 Carter Hartwig Defensive Back USC
9 243 Richard Ellender Wide Receiver McNeese State
11 298 Mike Taylor Offensive Tackle Georgia Tech
12 324 Wayne Wilson Running Back Shephard College
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[1]

Personnel

Staff

1979 Houston Oilers final staff
Front Office


Head Coaches


Offensive Coaches


  Defensive Coaches


Special Teams Coaches



Roster

1979 Houston Oilers roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

  • 34 Earl Campbell
  • 26 Rob Carpenter FB
  • 42 Boobie Clark FB
  • 47 Ronnie Coleman
  • 30 Kenny King
  • 45 Tim Wilson FB

Wide receivers

  • 00 Ken Burrough
  • 88 Rich Caster
  • 85 Rich Ellender
  • 81 Jeff Groth
  • 89 Eddie Foster
  • 84 Billy Johnson
  • 82 Mike Renfro

Tight ends

  • 86 Mike Barber
  • 87 Conrad Rucker
Offensive linemen
  • 58 David Carter C/G
  • 60 Ed Fisher G
  • 74 Leon Gray T
  • 70 Conway Hayman G
  • 55 Carl Mauck C
  • 61 Wes Phillips T
  • 68 Tom Randall G
  • 64 George Reihner G
  • 76 Morris Towns T

Defensive linemen

  • 75 Jesse Baker DE
  • 65 Elvin Bethea DE
  • 78 Curley Culp NT
  • 69 Andy Dorris DE
  • 71 Ken Kennard NT
  • 67 Mike Stensrud DE
  • 77 James Young DE
Linebackers
  • 63 Steve Baumgartner OLB
  • 54 Gregg Bingham ILB
  • 52 Robert Brazile OLB
  • -- Jimbo Elrod
  • 50 Daryl Hunt ILB
  • 56 Mike Murphy OLB
  • 53 Art Stringer ILB
  • 51 Ted Thompson ILB
  • 59 Ted Washington OLB

Defensive backs

  • 19 Willie Alexander CB/FS
  • 20 Bill Currier SS
  • 36 Carter Hartwig CB/FS
  • 21 Charles Jefferson CB
  • 32 Vernon Perry SS
  • 37 Mike Reinfeldt FS
  • 27 Greg Stemrick CB
  • 33 J. C. Wilson CB

Special teams

  • 16 Toni Fritsch K
  • 18 Cliff Parsley P
Reserve lists


Practice/Taxi Squad



Rookies in italics

[2]

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 September 2 at Washington W 29–27 1–0 RFK Stadium 54,582
2 September 9 at Pittsburgh L 7–38 1–1 Three Rivers Stadium 49,792
3 September 16 Kansas City W 20–6 2–1 Astrodome 45,684
4 September 23 at Cincinnati W 30–27 3–1 Riverfront Stadium 45,615
5 September 30 Cleveland W 31–10 4–1 Astrodome 48,915
6 October 7 St. Louis L 17–24 4–2 Astrodome 53,043
7 October 14 at Baltimore W 28–16 5–2 Memorial Stadium 45,021
8 October 21 at Seattle L 14–34 5–3 Kingdome 60,705
9 October 28 NY Jets W 27–24 6–3 Astrodome 45,825
10 November 5 at Miami W 9–6 7–3 Miami Orange Bowl 70,273
11 November 11 Oakland W 31–17 8–3 Astrodome 48,614
12 November 18 Cincinnati W 42–21 9–3 Astrodome 49,829
13 November 22 at Dallas W 30–24 10–3 Texas Stadium 63,897
14 December 2 at Cleveland L 7–14 10–4 Cleveland Municipal Stadium 69,112
15 December 10 Pittsburgh W 20–17 11–4 Astrodome 55,293
16 December 16 Philadelphia L 20–26 11–5 Astrodome 49,407

Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Game summaries

Week 1 at Washington

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Week 1: Houston Oilers at Washington Redskins
1 2 3 4 Total
Oilers 6 0 7 16 29
Redskins 0 17 7 3 27

at RFK Stadium • Washington, D.C.

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Week 2 at Pittsburgh

Week 3 vs. Kansas City

Week 4 at Cincinnati

Week 5 vs. Cleveland

Week 6 vs. St. Louis

Week 7 at Baltimore

Week 8 at Seattle

Week 9 vs. NY Jets

Week 10 at Miami

Week 11 vs. Oakland

Week 12 vs. Cincinnati

Week 13 at Dallas

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[3]

Week 14 at Cleveland

Week 15 vs. Pittsburgh

Week 16 vs. Philadelphia

Standings

Template:1979 AFC Central standings

Postseason

AFC Wild Card vs. Denver

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

at Astrodome, Houston

  • Date: December 23, 1979
  • Game time: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 48,776
  • Referee: Gene Barth
  • TV announcers (NBC): Charlie Jones and Len Dawson

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

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

  • Date: December 29, 1979
  • Game time: 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 51,192
  • Referee: Ben Dreith
  • TV announcers (NBC): Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen

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

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

  • Date: January 6, 1980
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: Template:Convert/°F, cloudy
  • Game attendance: 50,475
  • Referee: Jim Tunney
  • TV announcers (NBC): Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen

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

  • Earl Campbell, NFL Rushing Leader, (1,697)
  • Earl Campbell, 1979 NFL MVP
  • Earl Campbell, PFWA NFL MVP (1979)
  • Earl Campbell, Pro Bowl selection 1979
  • Earl Campbell, All-Pro selection 1979
  • Earl Campbell, NEA NFL MVP (1979)
  • Earl Campbell, NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1979)
  • Earl Campbell, 1979 Bert Bell Award[4]
  • Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers record, Most Touchdowns in a Season (19)
  • Mike Reinfeldt, NFL Interception Leader, 12

Milestones

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

References

  1. 1979 Houston Oilers draftees. Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  2. 1979 Houston Oilers starters and roster. Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  3. Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Nov-09.
  4. Archived copy.

External links

Template:Tennessee Titans Template:Tennessee Titans seasons Template:1979 NFL season by team

Awards and records

  • Earl Campbell, NFL Rushing Leader, (1,697)
  • Earl Campbell, 1979 NFL MVP
  • Earl Campbell, PFWA NFL MVP (1979)
  • Earl Campbell, Pro Bowl selection 1979
  • Earl Campbell, All-Pro selection 1979
  • Earl Campbell, NEA NFL MVP (1979)
  • Earl Campbell, NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1979)
  • Earl Campbell, 1979 Bert Bell Award[1]
  • Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers record, Most Touchdowns in a Season (19)
  • Mike Reinfeldt, NFL Interception Leader, 12

Milestones

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

References

External links

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