1945 NFL season

1945 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 23 – December 9, 1945
East Champions Washington Redskins
West Champions Cleveland Rams
Championship Game
Champions Cleveland Rams

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.

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 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 defeated the Washington Redskins in the NFL Championship Game in Cleveland.

Major rule changes

  • 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 races

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 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
Washington Redskins 820.800209121
Philadelphia Eagles 730.700272133
New York Giants 361.333179198
Boston Yanks 361.333123211
Pittsburgh Steelers 280.20079220
Western Division
Cleveland Rams 910.900244136
Detroit Lions 730.700195194
Green Bay Packers 640.600258173
Chicago Bears 370.300192235
Chicago Cardinals 190.10098228

NFL Championship Game

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


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

League leaders

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


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.


Eastern Division

Western Division


  1. "Owners give offense big seven-yard boost". Rome News-Tribune. Georgia. Associated Press. March 24, 1972. p. 6A.
  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1941–1950 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
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