American Football Wiki
1993 Houston Oilers season
Owner Bud Adams
Head Coach Jack Pardee
General Manager Mike Holovak
Home Field Astrodome
Record 12–4
Place 1st AFC Central
Playoff Finish Lost Divisional Playoffs (vs. Chiefs) 20–28
Previous Season Next Season
1992 1994

The 1993 season Houston Oilers season was the team's 34th, and their 24th in the National Football League.

Despite their poor start (four losses in their first five games), the Oilers went on a remarkable 11-0 run to finish the 1993 season, ending up tied for the best record in the NFL, at 12-4. Houston earned the #2 seed in the playoffs, and a first round bye. The 11-game winning streak was the longest in the NFL since 1972.[1]

Statistics site Football Outsiders calculates that the Oilers were the hottest team in the NFL heading into the playoffs at the end of the 1993 season.[2]

The Oilers were upset by Joe Montana and the Kansas City Chiefs in the Astrodome during the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

The 2006 edition of Pro Football Prospectus [3], listed the 1993 Oilers as one of their "Heartbreak Seasons," in which teams "dominated the entire regular season only to falter in the playoffs, unable to close the deal." Said Pro Football Prospectus, "Early in 1993, the Oilers seemed unable to put ["The Comeback"] behind them, dropping four of their first five games. But Houston righted the ship and ran the table, winning its final 11 contests. ... The Oilers allowed 20 points only once during the streak, and in one game held the league-leading 49ers offense to 7 points.

"In their first playoff game," Pro Football Prospectus continued, "they faced Joe Montana's Kansas City Chiefs, a team Houston had beaten 30-0 during the regular season. The Oilers jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, but stalled; leading 13-7 in the fourth quarter, they collapsed, losing 28-20. The team that had played eight straight games while holding opponents to 20 points or less gave up 21 in the fourth quarter of a playoff game. That off-season, the team was dismantled. Quarterback Warren Moon was shipped to Minnesota, and the Oilers fell to 2-14 the following year.

Buddy Ryan, Kevin Gilbride Conflict

Conflict had arisen between defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. Ryan had been criticizing Gilbride's "run and shoot" offense, referring to it as the "chuck and duck." Ryan felt that last-minute stands cost him two players to injury when the offense could have simply just run the ball and killed the clock.

At the end of the first half in the final game of the season, a national broadcast against the New York Jets, Gilbride called a pass play, and when Cody Carlson fumbled the snap, Ryan started yelling at Gilbride, who started walking towards Ryan, yelling back. When they were in arms length, Ryan punched Gilbride and two players quickly separated them.[4]


NFL Draft

Pick # NFL Team Player Position College
13 Houston Oilers Brad Hopkins Tackle Illinois



1993 Houston Oilers final staff
Front Office
  • Owner/Chairman of the Board/President – Bud Adams
  • Executive Vice President/General Manager – Mike Holovak
  • Assistant General Manager – Floyd Reese

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

  • Offensive Coordinator – Kevin Gilbride
  • Running Backs – Frank Novak
  • Receivers – Charlie Baggett
  • Offensive Line – Bob Young
  Defensive Coaches
  • Defensive Coordinator – Buddy Ryan
  • Defensive Line – Jim Stanley
  • Linebackers – Ronnie Jones
  • Defensive Backs – Tom Bettis
  • Quality Control – Frank Bush

Special Teams Coaches

  • Special Teams – Gregg Williams

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Rehabilitation – Steve Watterson



Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 5, 1993 at New Orleans Saints L 33–21
2 September 12, 1993 Kansas City Chiefs W 30–0
3 September 19, 1993 at San Diego Chargers L 18–17
4 September 26, 1993 Los Angeles Rams L 28–13
5 Bye week
6 October 11, 1993 at Buffalo Bills L 35–7
7 October 17, 1993 at New England Patriots W 28–14
8 October 24, 1993 Cincinnati Bengals W 28–12
9 Bye week
10 November 7, 1993 Seattle Seahawks W 24–14
11 November 14, 1993 at Cincinnati Bengals W 38–3
12 November 21, 1993 at Cleveland Browns W 27–20
13 November 28, 1993 Pittsburgh Steelers W 23–3
14 December 5, 1993 Atlanta Falcons W 33–17
15 December 12, 1993 Cleveland Browns W 19–17
16 December 19, 1993 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 26–17
17 December 25, 1993 at San Francisco 49ers W 10–7
18 January 2, 1994 New York Jets W 24–0


AFC Central
Houston Oilers 12 4 0 .750 368 238
Pittsburgh Steelers 9 7 0 .563 308 281
Cleveland Browns 7 9 0 .438 304 307
Cincinnati Bengals 3 13 0 .188 187 319


AFC Divisional Playoff

AFC: Kansas City Chiefs 28, Houston Oilers 20

1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 0 0 7 21 28
Oilers 10 0 0 10 20

at Astrodome, Houston, Texas

  • Date: January 16,1994
  • Game time: 4:00 p.m. EST/1:00 p.m. PST
  • Game weather: Played indoors, domed stadium
  • Game attendance: 64,011
  • Referee: Gerald Austin
  • TV announcers (NBC): Dick Enberg and Bob Trumpy

Chiefs quarterback Joe Montana threw three touchdown passes in the second half to give his team a 28–20 win. The Oilers jumped to a 10–0 lead in the first quarter with kicker Al Del Greco's 49-yard field goal and running back Gary Brown's 2-yard touchdown. Then after a scoreless second period, Montana threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Keith Cash in the third quarter. In the fourth period, Del Greco kicked a 43-yard field goal to give Houston a 13–7 lead. But aided by a 38-yard pass interference penalty, the Chiefs advanced 71 yards to score on wide receiver J.J. Birden's 11-yard touchdown reception form Montana. On the Oilers' next possession, Kansas City defensive lineman Dan Saleaumua recovered a fumble by Houston quarterback Warren Moon, setting up Montana's 18-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Willie Davis. The Oilers then drove 80 yards to score on wide receiver Ernest Givins' 7-yard touchdown catch, but the Chiefs responded with running back Marcus Allen's game-clinching 21-yard touchdown that capped off a 79-yard drive.

Awards and records

  • Haywood Jeffires, Pro Bowl Selection
  • Warren Moon, Pro Bowl Selection


This was the last time a NFL Team from Houston, Texas participated in the NFL Playoffs until the 2011 Houston Texans.


  1. [Neft, David S.; Cohen, Richard M.; and Korch, Rich The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football, 12th Edition, p.680, Martin's Press, August 1994, ISBN 0-312-11073-1
  2. Football Outsiders, 1993, 34.4% "weighted" DVOA, "adjusted so that earlier games in the season become gradually less important. It better reflects how the team was playing at the end of the season."
  3. Pro Football Prospectus 2006 (ISBN 0761142177), p.73-75
  4. YouTube video: Buddy Ryan punching Kevin Gilbride