The 1943 National Football League season resulted in a tie for the Eastern Division championship between the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, requiring a one-game playoff to be played between them. This division championship game was played on December 19, 1943, at the Polo Grounds. The winner of that game then traveled to Chicago to play in the championship game against the Chicago Bears on December 26.
|Eastern Division playoff||NFL Championship|
|E||Washington Redskins||28||E||Washington Redskins||21|
|E||New York Giants||0|
The 1943 NFL season was the 24th regular season of the National Football League.
Due to the exodus of players who had left to serve in World War II, the Cleveland Rams were granted permission to suspend operations for this season, while the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers merged for this one season, with the combined team (known as Phil-Pitt and called the "Steagles" by fans) playing four home games in Philadelphia and two in Pittsburgh.
The season ended when the Chicago Bears defeated the Washington Redskins, 41–21, in the NFL Championship Game played the day after Christmas, the first time in NFL history that a playoff game was played so late in the year; Chicago had finished its regular season on November 28 and won the Western Division with an 8–1–1 record, but the Bears had to wait for three weeks while the Eastern Division champion was determined.
Washington and the New York Giants ended the regular season by playing against each other on two consecutive Sundays, December 5 and 12 (the second game, originally scheduled on October 3 had been postponed due to heavy rain). The Giants won both games to force a first-place tie at 6–3–1 each, but the Redskins won the playoff game and earned the right to play the Bears.
Despite the war, the league's popularity continued to grow. The league drew a cumulative 1,072,462 fans, which was fewer than 7,000 short of the record set the previous year despite the fact that 15 fewer games were played. The increased attendance was attributed to the higher competitiveness of the weaker squads.
|NFL playoff system|