1985 New Orleans Saints season
Head Coach Bum Phillips (weeks 1-12)
(5th season)
Wade Phillips (interim, weeks 13-16)
General Manager Bum Phillips
(Since 1981)
Home Field Louisiana Superdome
Record 5–11
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.

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 nineteenth time in as many seasons, going 5–11. Benson promised big changes following the campaign, which he delivered upon.


NFL DraftEdit

1985 New Orleans Saints draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 24 Alvin Toles  Linebacker Tennessee
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
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career




1985 New Orleans Saints staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

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


1985 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

Regular seasonEdit


File:New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos 1985-09-15 (ticket).jpg
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

Game summariesEdit

Week 12Edit

by Quarter1234 Total
• Saints 14 6 3 7 30
Vikings 7 3 3 10 23



NFC West
view · talk · edit W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
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
Atlanta Falcons 4 12 0 .250 3–3 4–8 282 452 W2

Notable eventsEdit

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.


External linksEdit

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Indianapolis Cleveland Kansas City NY Giants Detroit LA Rams
Miami Houston LA Raiders Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans
New England Pittsburgh San Diego St. Louis Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1985 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XX

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