1957 NFL season
September 29 –|
December 22, 1957
|East Champions||Cleveland Browns|
|West Champions||Detroit Lions (playoff)|
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 jerseys 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.
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." Detroit and San Francisco both won while starting their backup quarterbacks (Tobin Rote and rookie John Brodie, respectively), but the Colts lost, so the additional playoff never took place.
|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||3 teams (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||3 teams (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||3 teams (Bal, Det, SF)||7–4–0||Cleveland Browns||8–2–1|
|12||Tie (Det, SF)||8–4–0||Cleveland Browns||9–2–1|
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
|New York Giants||7||5||0||.583||254||211|
See: 1957 NFL playoffs
- Home team in capitals
Western Conference Playoff Game
- Detroit 31, SAN FRANCISCO 27
- DETROIT 59, Cleveland 14
|AP NFL Most Valuable Player||Jim Brown, Fullback, Cleveland|
|AP NFL Coach of the Year||George Wilson, Lions|
The 1957 NFL Draft was held on November 26, 1956 and January 31, 1957 at Philadelphia's Warwick Hotel and The Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. With the first pick, the Green Bay Packers selected halfback Paul Hornung from the University of Notre Dame.
- Olan, Ben (December 15, 1957). "Frisco, Lions, Colts seek title; Browns at New York". Youngstown Vindicator. Ohio. Associated Press. p. D1.
- "Western NFL Championship At Stake Today," The Post-Standard (Syracuse), Dec 15, 1957, p34