|Head coach Bum Phillips|
Home field Astrodome
Division place 2nd AFC Central
|Owner Bud Adams|
|Playoff finish Lost Conference Championship|
The 1978 season was the Houston Oilers 19th season and their ninth 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.
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.
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. This would be the start of Luv Ya Blue.
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.