1955 NFL season

The 1955 NFL season was the 36th regular season of the National Football League. NBC paid $100,000 to replace DuMont as the national television network for the NFL Championship Game. The season ended when the Cleveland Browns defeated the Los Angeles Rams 38–14 in the title game.

1955 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 24 –
December 11, 1955
East ChampionsCleveland Browns
West ChampionsLos Angeles Rams
Championship Game
ChampionsCleveland Browns

Major rule changes

  • The ball is dead immediately when the ball carrier touches the ground with any part of his body except his hands or feet while in the grasp of an opponent.
  • A new exception is made in regard to scoring a safety: When a defender intercepts a pass, his intercepting momentum carries him into his own end zone, and he is stopped before returning the ball back into the field of play, then the ball will be next put in play at the spot of the interception.

Conference races

The defending champion Browns dropped their opener, at home, to the Redskins 27–17, but a six-game win streak put them back in front to win the Eastern race. The Western race was crowded a few times, as the Rams had to share the lead. In Week Eight, the Bears beat Los Angeles 24–3, to give both teams 5–3 records, The next week (November 20), the Bears took the lead with a 24–14 at Detroit while the Rams got a 17–17 tie at Baltimore. As had happened many times before in the annual battle of Chicago, the Bears were upset by the Cardinals in Week Ten (November 27), 53–14; the Rams eked out a 23–21 in Philadelphia on Les Richter's field goal with 0:07 left in the game.[1] In Week Eleven (December 4), the Rams won 20–14 over Baltimore, and the Bears kept their hopes alive with a difficult 21–20 win over Detroit. In the latter game, the Lions' Doak Walker missed an extra point, lost a fumble late in the game on the Detroit 28, and was wide on a 35-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds. The Bears won their last game (December 11), 17–10 over Philadelphia, to finish 8–4, and hoped for the 7–3–1 Rams would lose their game in Los Angeles against Green Bay. The Rams did not lose, clinching a spot in the title game, with a 31–17 win.

Week Western Eastern
1 3 teams (Bal, GB, LA) 1–0–0 3 teams (Phi, Pit, Was) 1–0–0
2 3 teams (Bal, GB, LA) 2–0–0 Washington Redskins 2–0–0
3 Tie (Bal, LA) 3–0–0 4 teams (Cards, Cle, Pit, Was) 2–1–0
4 3 teams (Bal, GB, LA) 3–1–0 Tie (Cle, Pit) 3–1–0
5 Los Angeles Rams 4–1–0 Tie (Cle, Pit) 4–1–0
6 Tie (Bal, LA) 4–2–0 Cleveland Browns 5–1–0
7 Los Angeles Rams 5–2–0 Cleveland Browns 6–1–0
8 Tie (Bears, LA) 5–3–0 Cleveland Browns 6–2–0
9 Chicago Bears 6–3–0 Cleveland Browns 7–2–0
10 Los Angeles Rams 6–3–1 Cleveland Browns 7–2–1
11 Los Angeles Rams 7–3–1 Cleveland Browns 8–2–1
12 Los Angeles Rams 8–3–1 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
Team W L T PCT PF PA
Cleveland Browns 9 2 1 .818 349 218
Washington Redskins 8 4 0 .667 246 222
New York Giants 6 5 1 .545 267 223
Chicago Cardinals 4 7 1 .364 224 252
Philadelphia Eagles 4 7 1 .364 248 231
Pittsburgh Steelers 4 8 0 .333 195 285
Western Conference
Team W L T PCT PF PA
Los Angeles Rams 8 3 1 .727 260 231
Chicago Bears 8 4 0 .667 294 251
Green Bay Packers 6 6 0 .500 258 276
Baltimore Colts 5 6 1 .455 214 239
San Francisco 49ers 4 8 0 .333 216 298
Detroit Lions 3 9 0 .250 230 275

NFL Championship Game

Cleveland 38, Los Angeles 14 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, Monday, December 26, 1955

Awards

League leaders

Statistic Name Team Yards
Passing Jim Finks Pittsburgh 2270
Rushing Alan Ameche Baltimore 961
Receiving Pete Pihos Philadelphia 864

Draft

The 1955 NFL Draft was held from January 27-28, 1955 at Philadelphia's Warwick Hotel. With the first pick, the Baltimore Colts selected running back George Shaw from Oregon State University.

Coaching changes

References

  1. ^ "Rams Recapture NFL Lead on Richter's Clutch Field Goal", Press-Telegram (Long Beach, California), Nov 28, 1955, pA-12
  • 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)
1955 All-Pro Team

The Associated Press (AP), Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), New York Daily News (NYDN), The Sporting News (SN), and United Press (UP) were among selectors of All-Pro teams comprising players adjudged to be the best at each position in the National Football League (NFL) during the 1955 NFL season. The AP, NEA, NYDN, and UP selected a first and second team. The UP also named "honorable mentions".

Billy Bookout

Billy Paul Bookout (June 1, 1932 – October 10, 2008) was an American football player and coach. After a stellar high school and college career, Bookout spent two seasons with the Green Bay Packers before starting a coaching career at the high school level.

Despite an outstanding career at Wichita Falls, Bookout did not drew the attention of college scouts. Blessed with uncommon competitiveness and determination, the 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 160 pounds (73 kg) Bookout hitchhiked to Norman, Oklahoma, and tried to make the Sooners team as a walk-on. In the first practice, he hit All-American halfback Billy Vessels in the sternum and caused him to fumble. Soon after, he was awarded a scholarship by Sooners coach Bud Wilkinson.

After his sophomore season, Bookout transferred to Austin College, where he received Little All American honors and served as co-captain. Although he went undrafted in the 1955 NFL Draft, Bookout made the roster of the Green Bay Packers, beating out former All-Pro cornerback Clarence Self. During the 1955 NFL season, Bookout registered 2 interceptions and 3 caused fumbles. He left the NFL after the 1956 season.

Pursuing a coaching career, Bookout got his first job as junior varsity coach at Austin High School of El Paso, Texas. After the season, he was hired as head coach at newly founded El Paso Burges. At age 25, Bookout was at the time the youngest head coach in the state's highest classification. His lack of experience, however, caused the program to struggle. Bookout had to leave Burges two seasons later, and finally became an assistant coach at Bell HS in the Fort Worth suburb of Hurst. In 1968, he was again hired to initiate a football program at a newly founded high school, at Euless Trinity. Bookout served the school for eight years before retiring as head coach.

Charlie Brackins

Charlie "Choo Choo" Brackins (January 12, 1932 – 1990) is a former quarterback in the National Football League for the Green Bay Packers during the 1955 NFL season.

George Timberlake

George Timberlake (November 3, 1932 – November 7, 2012) was an American football player. He played professionally as a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the third round of the 1954 NFL Draft and played with the team during the 1955 NFL season.

Jim Psaltis

David James Psaltis (born December 14, 1927) is a former American football defensive back. He played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago Cardinals and the Green Bay Packers.

Jim Trimble

James W. Trimble (May 29, 1918 – May 23, 2006) was an American gridiron football coach who served as head coach in both the National Football League (NFL) and the Canadian Football League (CFL. He is one of the few head coaches to make the transition. His legacy is also connected to the "modern day," Slingshot Goal Post.

Before reading please note this article has been edited by one of his children for accuracy.

In the NFL, he spent four years leading the Philadelphia Eagles, before spending the next decade in the CFL, most notably with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, followed by an over 20 year career with the NY Giants. He is one of the few in football to retire with a Super Bowl Ring & a Gray Cup Ring.

NFL on DuMont

The NFL on DuMont was an American television program that broadcast National Football League games on the now defunct DuMont Television Network. The program ran from 1951 to 1955.

Polo Grounds

The Polo Grounds was the name of three stadiums in Upper Manhattan, New York City, used mainly for professional baseball and American football from 1880 through 1963. As the name suggests, the original Polo Grounds, opened in 1876 and demolished in 1889, was built for the sport of polo. Bound on the south and north by 110th and 112th Streets and on the east and west by Fifth and Sixth (Lenox) Avenues, just north of Central Park, it was converted to a baseball stadium when leased by the New York Metropolitans in 1880. The third Polo Grounds, built in 1890 and renovated after a fire in 1911, is the one generally indicated when the Polo Grounds is referenced. It was located in Coogan's Hollow and was noted for its distinctive bathtub shape, very short distances to the left and right field walls, and an unusually deep center field.

In baseball, the original Polo Grounds was home to the New York Metropolitans from 1880 through 1885, and the New York Giants from 1883 through 1888. The Giants played in the second Polo Grounds for part of the 1889 season and all of the 1890 season, and at the third and fourth Polo Grounds from 1891 through 1957. The Polo Grounds was also the home field of the New York Yankees from 1913 through 1922 and the New York Mets in their first two seasons of 1962 and 1963. All four versions of the ballpark hosted World Series matches at various times. The fourth version also hosted the 1934 and 1942 Major League Baseball All-Star Games.

In football, the third Polo Grounds was home to the New York Brickley Giants for one game in 1921 and the New York Giants from 1925 to 1955. The New York Jets of the American Football League played at the stadium from the league's inaugural season of 1960 through 1963.

Other sporting events held at the Polo Grounds included soccer, boxing, and Gaelic football. The last sporting event at the Polo Grounds was a football game between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills on December 14, 1963. Shea Stadium opened in 1964 and replaced the Polo Grounds as the home of the Mets and Jets. The Polo Grounds was demolished over a period of four months that year and a public housing complex, known as the Polo Grounds Towers, was built on the site.

Red Hickey

Howard Wayne "Red" Hickey (February 14, 1917 – March 30, 2006) was an American football player and coach. He played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1941 and the Cleveland / Los Angeles Rams from 1945 to 1948. Hickey served as head coach for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers from 1959 to 1963. He devised the shotgun formation in 1960.

Ted Topor

Teddy Peter Topor (May 1, 1930 – June 5, 2017) was an American football player who played quarterback and linebacker. He played college football for the University of Michigan and professional football for the Detroit Lions.

1955 NFL season
Early era
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