The 1985 New Orleans Saints season was the Saints 19th season.
The offseason began with rampant rumors the franchise was on its way out of town. Original owner John W. Mecom Jr. was anxious to sell the team, and he threatened to move to Jacksonville, Florida if no suitable owner could be found.
In May, local car magnate Tom Benson stepped up and pledged to meet Mecom's asking price of $70 million. Mecom and Benson sat down with Louisiana governor Edwin W. Edwards and hammered out a deal, which was finalized May 31. Prior to the sale to Benson, businessman Abram Nicholas Pritzker attempted to purchase the team, but he could not meet Mecom's asking price, and Edwards was unable to secure a loan from the Louisiana Legislature to assist Pritzker.
Benson moved training camp from Vero Beach, Florida to Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. The team quickly brought in local legend and United States Football League standout Bobby Hebert to compete with Richard Todd and Dave Wilson for the starting quarterback position. Hebert won the position late in the season and started the final five games.
Coach Bum Phillips offered to resign when Benson completed his purchase, but Benson declined the offer. The season got off to a disastrous start, as the Saints were routed 47–27 at home by the Kansas City Chiefs, and an angry woman poured a cup of beer on Phillips as he exited the field. The Saints won three consecutive games following a week two loss at Denver, but the season quickly turned sour, thanks to a six-game losing streak that dropped the club to 3-8.
One day after winning at Minnesota to end the skid, Phillips resigned. His son, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, took over as interim coach for the final four games. The Saints won their first game under the younger Phillips, routing the eventual NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams 29-3, but losses to the Cardinals, 49ers and Falcons ended the year on another glum note.
The Saints finished with a non-winning record for the 19th time in 19 seasons, going 5–11. Benson promised big changes following the campaign, which he delivered upon.
|1985 New Orleans Saints season|
|Head coach||Bum Phillips (weeks 1-12)|
Wade Phillips (interim, weeks 13-16)
|General manager||Bum Phillips|
|Home field||Louisiana Superdome|
|Division place||3rd NFC West|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
|1985 New Orleans Saints draft|
|2||38||Daren Gilbert||Offensive tackle||Cal State Fullerton|
|3||68||Jack Del Rio *||Linebacker||USC|
|4||95||Billy Allen||Defensive back||Florida State|
|7||179||Eric Martin *||Wide receiver||LSU|
|8||206||Joe Kohlbrand||Linebacker||Miami (FL)|
|9||236||Earl Johnson||Defensive back||South Carolina|
|12||320||Treg Songy||Defensive back||Tulane|
|Pro Bowl during careerMade roster Made at least one|
|1985 New Orleans Saints staff|
Strength and Conditioning
|1985 New Orleans Saints roster|
|1||September 8, 1985||Kansas City Chiefs||L 47–27|
|2||September 15, 1985||at Denver Broncos||L 34–23|
|3||September 22, 1985||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 20–13|
|4||September 29, 1985||at San Francisco 49ers||W 20–17|
|5||October 6, 1985||Philadelphia Eagles||W 23–21|
|6||October 13, 1985||at Los Angeles Raiders||L 23–13|
|7||October 20, 1985||at Atlanta Falcons||L 31–24|
|8||October 27, 1985||New York Giants||L 21–13|
|9||November 3, 1985||at Los Angeles Rams||L 28–10|
|10||November 10, 1985||Seattle Seahawks||L 27–3|
|11||November 17, 1985||at Green Bay Packers||L 38–14|
|12||November 24, 1985||at Minnesota Vikings||W 30–23|
|13||December 1, 1985||Los Angeles Rams||W 29–3|
|14||December 8, 1985||at St. Louis Cardinals||L 28–16|
|15||December 15, 1985||San Francisco 49ers||L 31–19|
|16||December 22, 1985||Atlanta Falcons||L 16–10|
|Los Angeles Rams(2)||11||5||0||.688||3–3||8–4||340||277||L1|
|San Francisco 49ers(5)||10||6||0||.625||4–2||7–5||411||263||W2|
|New Orleans Saints||5||11||0||.313||2–4||5–7||294||401||L3|
On opening day, quarterback Dave Wilson set the unwanted record of completing only two of twenty-two passes: the lowest pass completion percent in an NFL game for any quarterback with a double figure total of attempts.
|Q1||NO||Wilson 41 yard run (Andersen kick)||NO 7–0|
|Q1||MIN||Anderson 54 yard pass from Kramer (Stenerud kick)||Tie 7–7|
|Q1||NO||Campbell 4 yard run (Andersen kick)||NO 14–7|
|Q2||NO||Andersen 26 yard field goal||NO 17–7|
|Q2||NO||Andersen 47 yard field goal||NO 20–7|
|Q2||MIN||Stenerud 22 yard field goal||NO 20–10|
|Q3||NO||Andersen 45 yard field goal||NO 23–10|
|Q3||MIN||Stenerud 22 yard field goal||NO 23–13|
|Q4||MIN||Stenerud 37 yard field goal||NO 23–16|
|Q4||MIN||Jones 6 yard pass from Kramer (Stenerud kick)||Tie 23–23|
|Q4||NO||Tice 39 yard pass from Hebert (Andersen kick)||NO 30–23|
|Wild card berths (5)|
|Division championships (7)|
|Conference championships (1)|
|League championships (1)|
|Ring of Honor|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold
Bold indicates Super Bowl victory