1978 Houston Oilers season

The 1978 Houston Oilers season was the franchise's 19th overall and the 9th in the National Football League (NFL). Led by Rookie RB Earl Campbell, who won both the Offensive Rookie of the Year, and Offensive Player of the Year, who rushed for 1,450 yards, the Oilers made the playoffs with a 10-6 record, qualifying in the newly created 5th Wild Card spot. The franchise scored 283 points while the defense gave up 298 points. Their record of 10 wins and 6 losses resulted in a second-place finish in the AFC Central Division. In the playoffs, the Oilers would stun the Miami Dolphins, 17-9, in the two teams first playoff meeting, then defeated the New England Patriots 31-14 in New England to advance to their first ever AFC Championship game, but in that game, they would score a mere 5 points in a 34-5 blowout loss to the eventual champion Steelers.

1978 Houston Oilers season
Head coachBum Phillips
General managerBum Phillips
OwnerBud Adams
Home fieldHouston Astrodome
Results
Record10–6
Division place2nd AFC Central
Playoff finishWon Wild Card Playoffs (Dolphins) 17–9
Won Divisional Playoffs (Patriots) 31–14
Lost AFC Championship (Steelers) 34–5
1986 Jeno's Pizza - 43 - Dan Pastorini (cropped)
Oilers quarterback Dan Pastorini in the 1978 AFC Wild Card game.

Season summary

The Oilers appeared twice on Monday Night Football. In their first appearance on Monday Night Football, the Oilers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 24–17. In their second appearance, the Oilers defeated the Miami Dolphins 35–30. The Oilers number one draft pick, Earl Campbell, a 5–11, 232-pound ball-carrying dynamo from the University of Texas, joined the Houston Oilers as the first player taken in the 1978 National Football League Draft. The first player to earn All-Southwest Conference honors four years, Campbell was a consensus All-America and the Heisman Trophy winner in 1977. Campbell took the NFL by storm right from the very start. In 1978, he was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player, All-Pro, and Rookie of the Year. He won the league rushing championship with 1,450 yards and was named to the AFC Pro Bowl squad. Possibly the highlight of the Oilers' fantastic season was the contest against the Miami Dolphins, in which Campbell racked up 199 yards, 81 of them coming on a TD run in the fourth quarter.[1]

Offseason

NFL draft

1978 Houston Oilers draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 1 Earl Campbell *   Running back Texas
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[2]

Personnel

Roster

1978 Houston Oilers roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

{{{reserve_lists}}}


Practice/Taxi squad {{{practice_squad}}}


Rookies in italics

[3]

Regular season

On November 20, 1978, the Oilers took on the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. In order to boost team spirit, the Oilers gave each fan a blue and white pom-pon before the game. The sight of over 70,000 fans waving the pom-pons inspired the Oilers to a 35–30 victory, behind Campbell's 199 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns. This would be the start of Luv Ya Blue.

Schedule

Game Date Opponent Result Oilers points Opponents Oilers first downs Record Attendance
1 Sep 3 at Atlanta Falcons Loss 14 20 13 0–1
57,328
2 Sep 10 at Kansas City Chiefs Win 20 17 15 1–1
40,213
3 Sep 17 San Francisco 49ers Win 20 19 23 2–1
46,161
4 Sep 24 Los Angeles Rams Loss 6 10 10 2–2
45,749
5 Oct 1 at Cleveland Browns Win 16 13 20 3–2
72,776
6 Oct 8 at Oakland Raiders Loss 17 21 20 3–3
52,550
7 Oct 15 Buffalo Bills Win 17 10 17 4–3
47,727
8 Oct 23 at Pittsburgh Steelers Win 24 17 22 5–3
48,021
9 Oct 29 at Cincinnati Bengals Loss 13 28 15 5–4
50,532
10 Nov 5 Cleveland Browns Win 14 10 18 6–4
45,827
11 Nov 12 at New England Patriots Win 26 23 24 7–4
60,356
12 Nov 20 Miami Dolphins Win 35 30 23 8–4
50,290
13 Nov 26 Cincinnati Bengals Win 17 10 17 9–4
43,245
14 Dec 3 Pittsburgh Steelers Loss 3 13 9 9–5
54,261
15 Dec 10 at New Orleans Saints Win 17 12 16 10–5
63,169
16 Dec 17 San Diego Chargers Loss 24 45 14 10–6
49,554

[4]

Standings

AFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Pittsburgh Steelers(1) 14 2 0 .875 5–1 11–1 356 195 W5
Houston Oilers(5) 10 6 0 .625 4–2 8–4 283 298 L1
Cleveland Browns 8 8 0 .500 1–5 4–8 334 356 L1
Cincinnati Bengals 4 12 0 .250 2–4 2–10 252 284 W3

Game summaries

Week 12

Playoffs

AFC Wild Card

Quarterback Dan Pastorini led the Oilers to an upset victory by passing for 306 yards.

AFC Divisional Playoff

Quarterback Dan Pastorini led the Oilers to a victory by throwing for 200 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Earl Campbell rushed for 118 yards and a score.

AFC Championship Game

On a wet, slick, and slippery field, the Steelers dominated the Oilers by forcing 9 turnovers and only allowing 5 points.

Awards and records

Milestones

  • Earl Campbell, 1st 1,000 yard rushing season
  • Earl Campbell, 1st NFL rushing title

References

  1. ^ Earl Campbell HTML at Pro Football Hall of Fame website
  2. ^ "1978 Houston Oilers draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  3. ^ "1978 Houston Oilers starters and roster". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  4. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/oti/1978.htm

External links

Game information
Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP MIA HOU
1 Dolphins Moore 10-yard touchdown reception from Griese, Yepremian kick good 7 0
1 Oilers Campbell 1-yard touchdown run, Fritsch kick good 7 7
2 Oilers Barber 15-yard touchdown reception from Pastorini, Fritsch kick good 7 14
2 Dolphins Williams 1-yard touchdown run, Yepremian kick good 14 14
3 Oilers Campbell 6-yard touchdown run, Fritsch kick good 14 21
3 Dolphins Harris 1-yard touchdown run, Yepremian kick good 21 21
4 Dolphins Pastorini tackled in end zone for a safety by Duhe 23 21
4 Oilers Campbell 12-yard touchdown run, Fritsch kick good 23 28
4 Oilers Campbell 81-yard touchdown run, Fritsch kick good 23 35
4 Dolphins Cefalo 11-yard touchdown reception from Griese, Yepremian kick good 30 35
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 30 35
Franchise
Stadiums
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Division championships (9)
Conference championships (1)
League championships (2)
Retired numbers
Media
Current league affiliations
Former league affiliation
Seasons (59)
Owners

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