1947 NFL season

The 1947 NFL season was the 28th regular season of the National Football League. The league expanded the regular season by one game from eleven games per team to twelve, a number that remained constant for fourteen seasons, through 1960.

The season ended when the Chicago Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Championship Game on December 28.

1947 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 21 –
December 28, 1947
East ChampionsPhiladelphia Eagles (playoff)
West ChampionsChicago Cardinals
Championship Game
ChampionsChicago Cardinals

Major rule changes

  • A fifth official, the Back Judge, is added to the officiating crew.[1]
  • When a team has fewer than 11 players on the field prior to a snap or kick, the officials are not to notify them.
  • An illegal use of hands penalty will be called whenever a defensive player uses them to block the vision of a receiver during any pass behind the offensive team's line.
  • During an unsuccessful extra point attempt, the play becomes dead as soon as failure is evident.
  • Roughing the kicker will not be called if he kicks after recovering a loose ball or fumble on the play.
  • All teams are required to use prescribed standard yardage chains, down boxes, and flexible shaft markers.
  • Games are no longer played on Tuesdays.

Division races

Starting in 1947, the NFL teams played a 12-game schedule rather than 11 games. The twelfth game proved to be crucial for the Steelers, Eagles, Cardinals and Bears. In the Eastern Division, Pittsburgh took a half-game lead over Philadelphia after a 35–24 win in Week Five. On November 30, the Eagles won the rematch, 21–0, to take a 7–3–0 to 7–4–0 lead. The same day, the Cardinals lost to the Giants, 35–31, while the Bears beat Detroit 34–14; the 7–3–0 Cards were a game behind the 8–2–0 Bears in the Western Division.

In Week Twelve, the Cardinals beat the Eagles, 45–21. Pittsburgh beat Boston 17–7, while the Bears lost to the Rams, 17–14. The result was that the Steelers finished at 8–4, and the 7–4 Eagles had to win their last game. The Cardinals and Bears were both at 8–3, and the Western title would go to the winner of their December 14 season-closer. A crowd of 48,632 turned out at Wrigley Field to watch. The Cardinals won the game, 30–21, and the right to host the championship. The same day, Philadelphia beat Green Bay, 28–14, to force a playoff with Pittsburgh.

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
Team W L T PCT PF PA
Philadelphia Eagles 8 4 0 .667 308 242
Pittsburgh Steelers 8 4 0 .667 240 259
Boston Yanks 4 7 1 .364 168 256
Washington Redskins 4 8 0 .333 295 367
New York Giants 2 8 2 .200 190 309
Western Division
Team W L T PCT PF PA
Chicago Cardinals 9 3 0 .750 306 231
Chicago Bears 8 4 0 .667 363 241
Green Bay Packers 6 5 1 .545 274 210
Los Angeles Rams 6 6 0 .500 259 214
Detroit Lions 3 9 0 .250 231 305

Playoffs

See: 1947 NFL playoffs

Home team in capitals

Eastern Division Playoff Game

  • Philadelphia 21, PITTSBURGH 0

NFL Championship Game

  • CHI. CARDINALS 28, Philadelphia 21

League leaders

Statistic Name Team Total
Passing Yards Sammy Baugh Washington Redskins 2938
Completion Percentage Sammy Baugh Washington Redskins .593 (210-for-354)
Touchdown Passes Sammy Baugh Washington Redskins 25
Rushing: Yards Steve Van Buren Philadelphia Eagles 1008
Rushing: Touchdowns Steve Van Buren Philadelphia Eagles 13
Receiving: Yards Mal Kutner Chicago Cardinals 944
Receiving: Catches Jim Keane Chicago Bears 64
Receiving: Touchdowns Ken Kavanaugh Chicago Bears 13
Total Points Scored Pat Harder Chicago Cardinals 102
Punting: Average George Gulyanics Chicago Bears 44.8
Interceptions Frank Reagan New York Giants 10
Frank Seno Boston Yanks 10

Draft

The 1947 NFL Draft was held on December 16, 1946 at New York City's Commodore Hotel. With the first pick, the Chicago Bears selected halfback Bob Fenimore from Oklahoma State University–Stillwater.

Coaching changes

Footnotes

  1. ^ Strickler, George (February 20, 1965). "Sixth N.F.L. official to watch scramblers, clock". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, sec. 2.

Further reading

1947 All-Pro Team

The 1947 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players who were chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team for the 1947 football season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP), the United Press (UP), Pro Football Illustrated, and the New York Daily News (NYDN). The AP selections included players from the National Football League (NFL) and All-America Football Conference; the UP, PFI, and NYDN selections were limited to players from the NFL.

Bob Skoglund

Robert W. "Bob" Skoglund (July 29, 1925 – January 1, 1949) was a professional American football defensive end in the National Football League.

Skoglund was born in Chicago, Illinois. He starred at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois before attending the University of Notre Dame. A 6'1" end, he participated in the 1945 and 1946 East-West Shrine Games and earned three letters with the Fighting Irish. He later played with the Green Bay Packers during the 1947 NFL season.

Skoglund died suddenly of a kidney infection in 1949.

Eberle Schultz

Eberle Hynson "Elbie" Schultz (December 23, 1917 – May 20, 2002) was an American football player in the National Football League from 1940 to 1947. An All-American lineman for Oregon State University during his collegiate days, Schultz was drafted into the NFL in 1940 by the Philadelphia Eagles. He also played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Rams, as well as two combined-franchise wartime teams during the course of an 8-year professional career.

Schultz was a member of the Cleveland Rams team that won the 1945 NFL Championship. During his years after the NFL he worked as a football coach, game official, and automobile dealer in Eureka, California.

Eddie Allen (American football)

Edward Bostwic Allen Jr. (May 5, 1918 – March 1, 2012) was an American football fullback who played one season in the National Football League (NFL) with the Chicago Bears and one season in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Allen played college football at the University of Pennsylvania, and was head football coach at Drexel University

Ray Clemons

Raymond Gordon Clemons (April 2, 1921 – December 28, 2005) was an American football player and coach. He played professionally as a guard in the National Football League (NFL) with the Green Bay Packers in 1947. Clemons served as the head football coach at California State University, Sacramento—known as Sacramento State College before 1972—from 1961 to 1975, compiling a record of 72–75–3.

Russ Reader

Russell "Big Daddy" Reader Jr. (June 26, 1923 – August 12, 1995) was an American football player. Reader was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan and graduated from Dearborn High School in Dearborn, Michigan. After graduating from Dearborn High School, Reader enrolled at the University of Michigan where he was a member of Fritz Crisler's 1941 Michigan Wolverines football team. After World War II, Reader enrolled at Michigan State University and played at the halfback position for the Spartans football team in 1946 and 1947. Reader was considered a triple-threat player, as he handled rushing, passing and kicking duties for the Spartans. In November 1945, he led the Spartans to a 33–0 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions, as he threw two touchdown passes and also caught a touchdown pass. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 21st round (195th overall pick) in the 1947 NFL Draft. Simkus played in two games for the Bears in the 1947 NFL season, and began the 1948 season with the Bears as an understudy for Sid Luckman at the quarterback position. He was also a renowned swimmer and diver. He started the 1949 season with the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League and finished the season playing for the Windsor Bulldogs in the Canadian American Football League. Reader died in 1995 at age 72 while living in Milford, Michigan.

Sam Etcheverry

Sam "The Rifle" Etcheverry (May 20, 1930 – August 29, 2009) was a professional American and Canadian football player and head coach. Etcheverry played the quarterback position, most famously with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, and was named Canadian football's Most Outstanding Player in 1954. Etcheverry's jersey #92 is one of seven retired by the Alouettes.Etcheverry is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and in 2006, was voted one of the CFL's Top 50 players (#26) of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.

Shorty Ray

Hugh Light "Shorty" Ray (September 21, 1884 – September 16, 1956) was an American football player and official. He was the first technical advisor on the rules and supervisor of officials for the National Football League (NFL) from 1938 to 1952. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966.

Walt Slater

Walter Edward "Walt" Slater (January 31, 1920 – May 11, 2012) was an American football player. He played college football for the Tennessee Volunteers football. In 1941, he led all NCAA major college players with an average of 20.4 yards per punt return. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, he later played professional football in the National Football League, appearing in 11 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 1947 NFL season. During his time with the Steelers, he totaled 167 rushing yards and 215 passing yards. He also led the NFL with 435 punt return yards in 1947. In 1948, Slater retired from the NFL and was hired as the backfield coach for the NC State Wolfpack football team. He was the football coach at St.Augustine High School from 1950 to 1961.

1947 NFL season
Early era
(1920–1969)
Modern era
(1970–present)

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