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1948 Chicago Cardinals season

1948 Chicago Cardinals season
Head coach Jimmy Conzelman
Home field Comiskey Park
Record 11-1-0
Division place 1st Western
Playoff finish Lost NFL Championship
Previous season      Next season
< 1947      1949 >

The 1948 Chicago Cardinals season was the 29th season in franchise history. The franchise appeared in the NFL Championship for the second consecutive year. The Cardinals, however, lost to the Eagles, 7-0 in Philadelphia. The Cardinals made their final postseason appearance before relocating to St. Louis in 1960. It would be another 26 years before they would return to postseason.

The Cardinals scored 395 points in 1948 (32.9 points per game), the most in the NFL, and the second most all-time in a 12-game season.[1] The Cardinals also led the league in offensive yards, yards per play, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.[2] The team's plus-169 point-differential remains the best in franchise history.[3]

The 1948 NFL season produced more points-per-game per team than any other season, and according to Cold Hard Football Facts:

"Jimmy Conzelman's Chicago Cardinals were the best of the bunch. They led the NFL in scoring that year (32.9 [points-per-game]) and they produced what was probably the greatest four-week stretch of offense in pro football history. From October 17 to November 7, the 1948 Cardinals beat the Giants 63-35; the Boston Yanks, 49-27; the L.A. Rams 27-22; and the Lions, 56-20. That's a four-week average of 48.8 [points-per-game] for those of you keeping score at home.

"Yes, turnovers were common in 1948, so maybe that fact made life easier for offense. The Cardinals, for example, picked off 23 passes in 12 games. But they scored just two defensive touchdowns all year, while adding four on special teams. Mostly, they ripped off touchdowns, a remarkable 47 on offense. They kicked a mere eight field goals.

"Mostly, the offense was virtually unstoppable and it didn't settle often for the cheap, soccer-style field goals that pad offensive team totals today."[4]

The Cardinals had three players in the top six in rushing in 1948: halfbacks Charley Trippi (690 yards), and Elmer Angsman (638), and fullback/linebacker/placekicker Pat Harder (554).[5] Harder led the league in scoring in 1948, with 110 points (6 rushing touchdowns, 7 field goals, and 53 extra points).[6] He was named the league's MVP by United Press International.


NFL Draft

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Record
1 September 24, 1948 Philadelphia Eagles W 21-14 1-0
2 October 4, 1948 Chicago Bears L 17-28 1-1
3 October 10, 1948 Green Bay Packers W 17-7 2-1
4 October 17, 1948 at New York Giants W 63-35 3-1
5 October 24, 1948 Boston Yanks W 49-27 4-1
6 October 31, 1948 at Los Angeles Rams W 27-22 5-1
7 November 7, 1948 Detroit Lions W 56-20 6-1
8 November 14, 1948 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 24-7 7-1
9 November 21, 1948 Los Angeles Rams W 27-24 8-1
10 November 25, 1948 at Detroit Lions W 28-14 9-1
11 December 5, 1948 Green Bay Packers W 42-7 10-1
12 December 12, 1948 at Chicago Bears W 24-21 11-1



NFL Western
Chicago Cardinals 11 1 0 .917 395 226 W-10
Chicago Bears 10 2 0 .833 375 151 L-1
Los Angeles Rams 6 5 1 .545 327 269 W-3
Green Bay Packers 3 9 0 .250 154 290 L-7
Detroit Lions 2 10 0 .167 200 407 L-3


Chicago Cardinals roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Practice Squad

Rookies in italics


NFL Championship Game

The 1948 National Football League Championship game was the 16th NFL title game played. The game was a rematch of the previous year's championship game between the Chicago Cardinals, champions of the Western Division and the Philadelphia Eagles. The game was played at Philadelphia's Shibe Park on December 19, 1948. The Eagles won the game by a score of 7-0.[8]

Awards and records

  • Led NFL, Points Scored, 395 [9]
  • Led NFL, Total Yards Gained, 4,705 [9]
  • Led NFL, Rushing Yards, 2,560 [9]
  • Pat Harder, NFL Scoring Leader, 110 points [10]



  • Cardinals on Pro Football Reference
  • Cardinals on

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