1938 NFL season

1938 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 9 – December 11, 1938
East Champions New York Giants
West Champions Green Bay Packers
Championship Game
Champions New York Giants

The 1938 NFL season was the 19th regular season of the National Football League. The season ended when the New York Giants defeated the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Championship Game.

Major rule changes

  • A new 15-yard penalty for roughing the passer is enacted.
  • If a kickoff goes out of bounds, the receiving team may opt to take possession of the ball at their own 45-yard line.
  • The penalty for a second forward pass during a play is changed from 5 yards and a loss of down to just 5 yards.[1]

Division races

In Week Seven, the Bears lost at home to the Rams, 23–21, while the Packers beat the Pirates (the future Steelers) 20–0, giving Green Bay the lead for the first time. The Packers won their next three games to clinch the Western Division.

In the Eastern Division, the Redskins led until Week Ten, when they fell to the Bears, 31–7; the Giants' 28–0 win over the Rams gave New York the division lead on November 13. The division title still came down to the last day of the regular season, December 4, when 57,461 turned out at the Polo Grounds in New York to watch the 7–2–1 Giants host the 6–2–2 Redskins. A Washington win would have made them 7–2–2 and New York 7–3–1, with the Skins as division champs. New York needed only to win or tie, and did the former, five touchdowns en route to a 36–0 victory.

Four neutral-site games were held: two at Civic Stadium in Buffalo, New York, one in Erie, Pennsylvania, and one in Charleston, West Virginia. The Buffalo games marked the league's first return to Buffalo since the folding of the Bisons in 1929.

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 Division
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
New York Giants 821.80019479
Washington Redskins 632.667148154
Brooklyn Dodgers 443.500131161
Philadelphia Eagles 560.455154164
Pittsburgh Pirates 290.18279169
Western Division
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
Green Bay Packers 830.727223118
Detroit Lions 740.636119108
Chicago Bears 650.545194148
Cleveland Rams 470.364131215
Chicago Cardinals 290.182111168

NFL Championship Game

The New York Giants defeated the Green Bay Packers by a score of 23–17 at the Polo Grounds in New York City on December 11, 1938, to become the champion.

All-Star game

After being crowned champion the Giants faced a team of "Pro All-Stars", an all-star team consisting mostly of NFL players but also including three players from the Los Angeles Bulldogs, in an exhibition game at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles on January 15, 1939. The game, which the Giants won 13–10, was the first of five annual NFL all-star games held under the format (but the only one to include non-NFL players) prior to the creation of the Pro Bowl in 1951.[2]

Awards

Joe F. Carr Trophy (Most Valuable Player) Mel Hein, Center, N.Y. Giants

League leaders

Statistic Name Team Yards
Passing Ace Parker Brooklyn 865
Rushing Whizzer White Pittsburgh 567
Receiving Don Hutson Green Bay 548

Draft

The 1938 NFL Draft was held on December 12, 1937 at Chicago's Hotel Sherman. With the first pick, the Cleveland Rams selected fullback Corbett Davis from Indiana University Bloomington.

Coaches

Eastern Division

Western Division

See also

References

  1. "NFL Championship Games – 1938: Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants". goldenrankings.com. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  2. Crawford, Fred R. (1990). "The First Pro Bowl Game" (PDF). The Coffin Corner. 12 (4). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 31, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2012.

Sources

  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1931–1940 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
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