1945 NFL season

The 1945 NFL season was the 26th regular season of the National Football League. The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Cardinals resumed their traditional operations.

1945 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 23 – December 9, 1945
East ChampionsWashington Redskins
West ChampionsCleveland Rams
Championship Game
ChampionsCleveland Rams

The remains of the final Ohio League member Dayton Triangles, then known as the Brooklyn Tigers, and the Boston Yanks merged for this one season. The combined team, known simply as The Yanks, played four games at Boston's Fenway Park and one game at New York's Yankee Stadium. After Brooklyn Tigers owner Dan Topping announced his intentions to join the new All-America Football Conference, his rights to the Triangles' legacy franchise were immediately revoked after the season and all of its players were assigned to the Boston Yanks, who carried on the team's lineage.

The season ended when the Cleveland Rams defeated the Washington Redskins in the NFL Championship Game in Cleveland.


The 1945 NFL Draft was held on April 8, 1945 at New York City's Commodore Hotel. With the first pick, the Chicago Cardinals selected halfback Charley Trippi from the University of Georgia.

Major rule changesEdit

  • The inbounds lines or hashmarks were moved closer to the center of the field, from 15 yards to 20 yards from the sidelines (from 70 feet apart to 40 feet apart). This remained the standard until 1972, when the hashmarks were moved in to the width of the goalposts, 18½ feet apart.[1]
  • 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.

Division racesEdit

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.

Final standingsEdit

NFL Championship GameEdit

Cleveland 15, Washington 14, at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 16

League leadersEdit

Statistic Name Team Yards
Passing Sid Luckman Chicago Bears 1727
Rushing Steve Van Buren Philadelphia 832
Receiving Jim Benton Cleveland Rams 1067


Joe F. Carr Trophy (Most Valuable Player)   Bob Waterfield, Quarterback, Cleveland

Coaching changesEdit

Stadium changesEdit


  1. ^ "Owners give offense big seven-yard boost". Rome News-Tribune. Georgia. Associated Press. March 24, 1972. p. 6A.