Wes Chandler Touchdown Catch!

New Orleans Saints receiver Wes Chandler in 1981 action versus the Oilers
Saints receiver Wes Chandler makes a leaping touchdown catch against the Oilers in 1981 preseason.

Wes Chandler Goes Up High Against the Oilers in 1981 Preseason action in the Super Dome

Wes Chandler, the former 1st-round pick from Florida goes up to make the catch and score against the Houston Oilers in the 1981 preseason showdown in the Super Dome. Bum Phillips had just taken over as the New Orleans Saints head coach and there was plenty of excitement in the Big Easy.

 The Saints were moving on from one of the worst seasons in NFL history and better days were coming. But Wes Chandler wouldn’t be part of it though. Instead he was traded to the San Diego Chargers a few weeks into the 1981 season where he joined former Saint Chuck Muncie (Muncie had been traded the year before) in one of the NFL’s top ranked offenses of the 1980s. Deemed Air Coryell after head coach Don Coryell, the Chargers were a pass-first offense where Chandler and Muncie fit right in. Teaming up with future Hall of Famers Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow and Charlie Joiner they formed one of the most explosive teams of that period. As a Charger Chandler earned All-Pro honors in 1982 when he led the league in receiving yards and touchdown catches. All-in-all he made 4 Pro Bowls during his 11-year career (1 of those – as a Saint in 1979 was the first Saints receiver to make a Pro Bowl in 10 years).

 While it’s obvious his best seasons came while he was in San Diego, Chandler did spend his first 3 seasons with the Saints, and they were very productive seasons at that. When he left in 1981 – traded for the Chargers 1st pick of the 1982 draft – he was #3 on the New Orleans Saints All-Time Leading Receivers Career list.

Wes Chandler New Orleans Saints Career Statistics

Receiving Career with Saints
Year Games Catches Yards Y/R TD Long
1978 16 35 472 13.5 2 58
1979* 16 65 1069 16.4 6 85
1980 16 65 975 15.0 6 50
1981 4 17 285 16.8 1 39
4 years 52 182 2801 15.4 15 85
*Pro Bowl.

I've been following the Saints since a kid in the 70s watching the likes of Archie Manning and Tommy Myers.
We may not have as grandiose a history as some NFL teams, but there are scores of memories the New Orleans Saints have given to their fans and I have done my best to record them here at New Orleans Saints History.

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One comment

  1. Great piece of NFL history! Thanks for posting … Found this in process of researching Chuck Muncie for my blog at nflsince1970.com. Saints are my second favorite team after Denver. I was 12 when I discovered Inside the NFL on HBO & NFL Films single handedly made me a fanatic with their heart pounding – slow mo highlights. I seemingly involuntarily, decided to love all the bad teams & root against the teams that were dominate. The Saints had never been a winner by that ’78 season and the 1-15 bags on the heads ‘Aints of 1980 must have been what solidified this team as #2 my book!

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