1957 NFL season

1957 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 29 
December 22, 1957
East Champions Cleveland Browns
West Champions Detroit Lions (playoff)
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

  • 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.

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.[1] 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."[2] 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.

Week Western Record Eastern Record
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

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 921.818269172
New York Giants 750.583254211
Pittsburgh Steelers 660.500161178
Washington Redskins 561.455251230
Philadelphia Eagles 480.333173230
Chicago Cardinals 390.250200299
Western Conference
Detroit Lions 840.667251231
San Francisco 49ers 840.667260264
Baltimore Colts 750.583303235
Los Angeles Rams 660.500307278
Chicago Bears 570.417203211
Green Bay Packers 390.250218311


See: 1957 NFL playoffs

Home team in capitals

Western Conference Playoff Game

  • Detroit 31, SAN FRANCISCO 27

NFL Championship Game

  • DETROIT 59, Cleveland 14


AP NFL Most Valuable PlayerJim Brown, Fullback, Cleveland
AP NFL Coach of the YearGeorge 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.


Eastern Conference

Western Conference


  1. Olan, Ben (December 15, 1957). "Frisco, Lions, Colts seek title; Browns at New York". Youngstown Vindicator. Ohio. Associated Press. p. D1.
  2. "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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