1958 NFL season

1958 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 28 –
December 14, 1958
East Champions New York Giants (playoff)
West Champions Baltimore Colts
Championship Game
Champions Baltimore Colts

The 1958 NFL season was the 39th regular season of the National Football League.

The Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants, 23–17, in the first sudden-death overtime in an NFL Championship Game. The game became known to American football fans as "The Greatest Game Ever Played".

Conference races

The 1958 Colts–Giants title game was a milestone in the popularity of pro football, but the Giants almost did not qualify. The Cleveland Browns led the Eastern Conference title race up until the final week. On December 14, the 9–2 Browns visited the 8–3 Giants. As a snowstorm swept over Yankee Stadium, the Browns' 10–3 lead gave way to a 10–10 tie game on Frank Gifford's pass to Bob Schnelker, which would still have suited Cleveland. The Giants' Pat Summerall missed a 31-yard field goal with 4½ minutes left. With two minutes to play, Summerall had another opportunity from 49 yards out, in inclement weather and connected for a 13–10 win. The goal post from that game was broken down and a part of it was later used by FOX Sports as part of a plaque that was given to Summerall for his retirement gift following Super Bowl XXXVI, which he and John Madden called for Fox. The Browns and Giants finished with 9–3 records, and in the playoff the next week, the Giants won again at Yankee Stadium, 10–0.

The Western Conference race was over after ten games, with the Colts at 9–1, and the Bears and Rams mathematically eliminated at 6–4. The Colts lost their final two games on the road in California to finish at 9–3, a game ahead of the Bears.

The Green Bay Packers finished with a league-worst record of 1–10–1 and hired Vince Lombardi, offensive coach of the Giants, as head coach in January 1959.

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
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
New York Giants 930.750246183
Cleveland Browns 930.750302217
Pittsburgh Steelers 741.636261230
Washington Redskins 471.364214268
Chicago Cardinals 291.182261356
Philadelphia Eagles 291.182235306
Western Conference
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
Baltimore Colts 930.750381203
Chicago Bears 840.667298230
Los Angeles Rams 840.667344278
San Francisco 49ers 660.500257324
Detroit Lions 471.364261276
Green Bay Packers 1101.091193382

Playoffs

Home team in capitals

Eastern Conference Playoff Game

  • New York 10, Cleveland 0

NFL Championship Game

  • Baltimore 23, New York 17 (OT)

Awards

Most Valuable PlayerJim Brown, Fullback, Cleveland
Coach of the YearWeeb Eubank, Baltimore Colts

Draft

The 1958 NFL Draft was held on December 2, 1957 and January 28, 1958 at Philadelphia's Warwick Hotel. With the first pick, the Chicago Cardinals selected quarterback King Hill from Rice University.

Coaches

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

References

  • 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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