The 1945 NFL season
was the 26th regular season of the National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...
. The Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team currently belongs to the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Founded in , the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC...
and the Chicago Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...
resumed their traditional operations.
The Brooklyn Tigers
The Brooklyn Dodgers were an American football team that played in the National Football League from 1930 to 1943, and in 1944 as the Brooklyn Tigers. The team played its home games at Ebbets Field. In 1945, because of financial difficulties, the team was merged with the Boston Yanks...
and the Boston Yanks
The Boston Yanks were a National Football League team based in Boston, Massachusetts that played from 1944 to 1948. The team played its home games at Fenway Park. Games that conflicted with the Boston Red Sox schedule were held at the Manning Bowl in Lynn, Massachusetts...
merged for this one season. The combined team, known simply as The Yanks, played half of their home games in each city. After Brooklyn Tigers owner Dan Topping announced his intentions to join the new All-America Football Conference
The All-America Football Conference was a professional American football league that challenged the established National Football League from 1946 to 1949. One of the NFL's most formidable challengers, the AAFC attracted many of the nation's best players, and introduced many lasting innovations...
, his NFL team was immediately revoked after the season and all of its players were assigned to the Boston Yanks.
The season ended when the Cleveland Rams
The Cleveland Rams were a professional American football team based in Cleveland, Ohio.The Rams began playing in 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio. The NFL considers the franchise as a second incarnation of the previous Cleveland Rams team that was a charter member of the second American Football League...
defeated the Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins are a professional American football team and members of the East Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team plays at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, while its headquarters and training facility are at Redskin Park in Ashburn,...
in the NFL Championship Game.
Major rule changes
- The inbounds lines or hashmarks were moved closer to the center of the field, 20 yards from the sidelines.
- The player who extends his arms under the center must receive the snap or the offensive team will be penalized for a false start.
- When a snap is muffed by the receiving player and then touches the ground, it is legally a fumble.
- During an extra point attempt, the ball is spotted at the 2-yard line, but the offense may opt to have it be placed further from the goal line.
- After a kicked punt crosses the line of scrimmage, the kicking team may recover the ball if it touches a member of the receiving team before they control the ball themselves.
In the Eastern Division, the Yanks were still unbeaten (2–0–1) as of Week Four
; at their only Yankee Stadium game (October 14), they had a 13–10 lead until the Giants tied them 13–13. In Week Five
, the Yanks' 38–14 loss to Green Bay, put them at 2–1–1, tied with 2–1–0 Washington, while in the Western race, the Rams reached 4–0–0 after a 41–21 win over the Bears. In Week Six
, halfway through the ten-game season, Boston and Washington both won, putting them even at 3–1–1 and 3–1–0. The Rams' 28–14 loss to the Eagles, along with wins by the Lions and Packers, tied all teams at 4–1–0 in the west. In Week Seven
, the a blocked extra point attempt gave Detroit a 10–9 win at Boston, keeping the Lions tied with the Rams (5–1–0) for the Western lead, while taking the 3–2–1 Yanks to a game behind the 4–1–0 Redskins. In Week Nine
, the Rams took the lead in the Western after a 35–21 win over the Cards, while the Lions lost 35–14 to the Giants.
In Week Ten
, the 7–1 Rams and the 6–2 Lions met in Detroit's Thanksgiving Day game. For the Lions it was a must-win game, but they lost 28–21; at 8–1–0, the Rams clinched the division. Days later, the 5–2 Eagles hosted the 6–1 Redskins, and the Eagles' 16–0 win tied the teams at 6–2–0 in the Eastern race. The next week, however, the Eagles lost to the Giants 28–21, while the Redskins beat the Steelers 24–0. Washington's 17–0 win over the Giants the next week clinched its division.
W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT= Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against
Note: The NFL did not officially count tie games in the standings until 1972
NFL Championship Game
Cleveland 15, Washington 14, at Cleveland Stadium
Cleveland Stadium was a multi-purpose stadium, located in Cleveland, Ohio. In its final years, the stadium seated 74,438, for baseball and 81,000, for football. It was one of the early multi-purpose stadiums, built to accommodate both baseball and football...
, Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...
, December 16, 1945
|Joe F. Carr Trophy (Most Valuable Player)
The National Football League Most Valuable Player Award is given by various entities, most notably the Associated Press , to the player who is considered most valuable in the league. When the award is referred to without mentioning the organization, it generally means the AP award. The AP NFL MVP...
|| Bob Waterfield
Robert "Bob" Stanton Waterfield was an American football player.Waterfield attended Van Nuys High School, in Van Nuys, California and went on to play college football for UCLA. In 1943 he led the Bruins to the Pacific Coast Conference football championship...
Quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line...