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1957 NFL season

1957 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 29 – December 22, 1957
East Champions Cleveland Browns
West Champions Detroit Lions
Championship Game
Champions Detroit Lions

The 1957 NFL season was the 38th regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with the Detroit Lions defeating the Cleveland Browns in the NFL Championship Game, 59–14.


  • Major rule changes 1
  • Conference races 2
  • Final standings 3
  • Playoffs 4
  • Awards 5
  • References 6

Major rule changes

  • During sudden-death overtime, rules for time outs are the same as in a regular game, including the last two minutes of the second and fourth quarters.
  • Home teams wore dark jersey and road team wore white. Previously, NFL teams were allowed to wear whatever uniform color they liked, even if it clashed with the other team, and were not required to have a white jersey.

Conference races

Cleveland won its opener, 6–3 over the Giants, and led the Eastern Conference from wire to wire. A 17–7 loss to the Eagles in Week Four forced the Browns to share the lead with New York, but the Giants lost the following week, and spent the rest of the season trying to catch Cleveland.

The Western Conference race was more protracted. Baltimore, Detroit and San Francisco were tied for the lead several times, and had identical 7–4 records at the end of the penultimate week. When two teams tied for first place, they would meet in a one-game playoff. The NFL did have a provision for that: "If all three teams win, tie, or lose, then a two-week playoff series begins next Sunday with Baltimore drawing a bye, San Francisco playing Detroit, and the winner meeting the Colts at Baltimore Dec. 29.".[1] Detroit and San Francisco both won, but the Colts lost, so the additional playoff never took place.

Week Western Eastern
1 3 teams (Bal, GB, LA) 1–0–0 3 teams (Cards, Cle, Pit) 1–0–0
2 Baltimore Colts 2–0–0 Cleveland Browns 2–0–0
3 Baltimore Colts 3–0–0 Cleveland Browns 3–0–0
4 Tie (Bal, Det, SF) 3–1–0 Tie (Cle, NYG) 3–1–0
5 San Francisco 49ers 4–1–0 Cleveland Browns 4–1–0
6 San Francisco 49ers 5–1–0 Cleveland Browns 5–1–0
7 San Francisco 49ers 5–2–0 Cleveland Browns 6–1–0
8 Tie (Bal, Det, SF) 5–3–0 Cleveland Browns 6–1–1
9 Baltimore Colts 6–3–0 Cleveland Browns 7–1–1
10 Baltimore Colts 7–3–0 Cleveland Browns 8–1–1
11 Tie (Bal, Det, SF) 7–4–0 Cleveland Browns 8–2–1
12 Tie (Det, SF) 8–4–0 Cleveland Browns 9–2–1

Final standings

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

Eastern Conference
Cleveland Browns 9 2 1 .818 269 172
New York Giants 7 5 0 .583 254 211
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 6 0 .500 161 178
Washington Redskins 5 6 1 .455 251 230
Philadelphia Eagles 4 8 0 .333 173 230
Chicago Cardinals 3 9 0 .250 200 299
Western Conference
Detroit Lions 8 4 0 .667 251 231
San Francisco 49ers 8 4 0 .667 260 264
Baltimore Colts 7 5 0 .583 303 235
Los Angeles Rams 6 6 0 .500 307 278
Chicago Bears 5 7 0 .417 203 211
Green Bay Packers 3 9 0 .250 218 311


See: 1957 NFL playoffs

Home team in capitals

Western Conference Playoff Game

  • Detroit 31, SAN FRANCISCO 27

NFL Championship Game

  • DETROIT 59, Cleveland 14


Most Valuable Player Jim Brown, Running Back, Cleveland
Coach of the Year George Wilson, Lions


  1. ^ "Western NFL Championship At Stake Today," The Post-Standard (Syracuse), Dec 15, 1957, p34
  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1951–1960 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
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