1973 New Orleans Saints season
Head Coach John North
Home Field Tulane Stadium
Record 5–9
Place 3rd NFC West
Playoff Finish did not qualify
Previous season Next season
1972 1974

The 1973 New Orleans Saints season was the team's seventh as a member of the National Football League (NFL). They improved on their previous season's output of 2–11–1, winning five games.[1] The team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.

New Orleans made a disastrous trade in January, dealing the No. 2 overall selection in the 1973 NFL Draft to the Baltimore Colts for defensive end Billy Newsome. The Colts used the traded pick to select LSU quarterback Bert Jones, who guided the team to three consecutive AFC East division championships from 1975 to 1977.

J.D. Roberts, who became the Saints' second head coach midway through the 1970 season, was fired August 27, two days after a 31–6 loss to the New England Patriots in the fourth exhibition game. Roberts was replaced by offensive backfield coach John North. Roberts ended his Saints tenure with a 7–25–3 mark.

The Saints opened the year with a 62–7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at home. The first quarter of that game was scoreless. Eight days later, they were destroyed on Monday Night Football by the Dallas Cowboys, 40–3.

They did however hold O. J. Simpson to 74 yard on 20 carries in the team's first ever shutout, with a 13–0 win over the Buffalo Bills. Simpson went on to break the single season rushing record in yardage that year with 2,003.


NFL draftEdit

1973 New Orleans Saints draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
2 29 Derland Moore  Defensive tackle Oklahoma
2 51 Steve Baumgartner  Defensive end Purdue
3 66 Pete Van Valkenburg  Running back Brigham Young
4 86 Jim Merlo  Linebacker Stanford
6 134 Marty Shuford  Running back Arizona
7 158 Bill Cahill  Defensive back Washington
8 185 Bob Peterson  Guard Utah
8 207 Doug Winslow  Wide receiver Drake
9 210 Mike Fink  Defensive back Missouri
10 237 Jeff Horsley  Running back North Carolina Central
11 262 James Owens  Running back Auburn
12 289 Paul Orndorff  Running back Tampa
13 314 Richard Watkins  Defensive tackle Weber State
14 341 Paul Fersen  Offensive tackle Georgia
15 366 Mike Evenson  Center North Dakota State
16 393 Howard Stevens  Running back Louisville
17 418 Bobby Garner  Tight end Winston-Salem State
      Made roster  




1973 New Orleans Saints staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches



1973 New Orleans Saints roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad {{{practice_squad}}}

Rookies in italics


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 16, 1973 Atlanta Falcons L 62–7
2 September 24, 1973 at Dallas Cowboys L 40–3
3 September 30, 1973 at Baltimore Colts L 14–10
4 October 7, 1973 Chicago Bears W 21–16
5 October 14, 1973 Detroit Lions W 20–13
6 October 21, 1973 at San Francisco 49ers L 40–0
7 October 28, 1973 Washington Redskins W 19–3
8 November 4, 1973 Buffalo Bills W 13–0
9 November 11, 1973 at Los Angeles Rams L 29–7
10 November 18, 1973 at San Diego Chargers L 17–14
11 November 25, 1973 Los Angeles Rams L 24–13
12 December 2, 1973 at Green Bay Packers L 30–10
13 December 9, 1973 San Francisco 49ers W 16–10
14 December 16, 1973 at Atlanta Falcons L 14–10

Standings Edit

Template:1973 NFC West standings


AFC East Central West East Central West NFC
Baltimore Cincinnati Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta
Buffalo Cleveland Kansas City NY Giants Detroit Los Angeles
Miami Houston Oakland Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans
New England Pittsburgh San Diego St. Louis Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Washington
1973 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl VIII

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