1985 New Orleans Saints season

1985 New Orleans Saints season

1985 New Orleans Saints season
Head coach Bum Phillips
Wade Phillips (interim)
General manager Bum Phillips
Owner Tom Benson
Home field Louisiana Superdome
Record 5–11
Division place 3rd NFC West
Playoff finish did not qualify
Previous season      Next season
< 1984      1986 >

The 1985 New Orleans Saints season was the Saints 19th season. It was Earl Campbell’s final season in the NFL.

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.

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. With the team 4-8 following a victory at Minnesota, Phillips resigned. His son, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, took over as interim coach for the final four games.

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.


NFL Draft

Round Pick Player Position School



1985 New Orleans Saints staff
Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

  • Offensive Coordinator – King Hill
  • Offensive Backfield – John Levra
  • Wide Receivers – Harold Richardson
  • Offensive Line – Carl Mauck
  • Quality Control – Joe Spencer

Defensive Coaches

  • Defensive Coordinator – Wade Phillips
  • Defensive Line – Willie Zapalac
  • Linebackers – John Paul Young
  • Defensive Backfield – Mark Hatley

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Russell Paternostro


Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
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


Notable events

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.


  • Saints on Pro Football Reference
  • Saints on jt-sw.com