Monday, July 23, 2012

APR's top 25 regular season upsets: #4

# 4: 1970 Week 8: Lions 17, Saints 19 (ρ=1.3604)
Lions' season: finished 10-4, clinched a wildcard spot, and lost to the Cowboys in the Divisional round of the playoffs.
Saints' season: finished 2-11-1. Tom Fears, the Saints' inaugural coach, was fired after 7 games. This was J.D. Roberts first game as head coach. He retained the position through the 1972 season.
What happened: for much of the 1970 season, the Lions scored a lot of points (20+ points in 9 games), and the Saints allowed a lot of points (20+ points in 11 games). But in this game, the Lions had 6 turnovers (3 interceptions and 3 lost fumbles), which were enough to keep the Saints in the game. And, in the final moments, Tom Dempsey kicked his record-setting 63 yard field goal to give the Saints their second (and final) win of the season.
Here's the final moments of the game:
Also of note: Jason Elam and Sebastian Janikowski have both kicked 63-yard field goals, although they both did it at Mile High stadium.

Next week: from the oldest game on the list, we go to one of the most recent, featuring the final appearance of the Saints, and another bad Sunday for Drew Brees.