1957 NFL season

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.

1957 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 29 –
December 22, 1957
East ChampionsCleveland Browns
West ChampionsDetroit Lions (playoff)
Championship Game
ChampionsDetroit Lions

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 9 2 1 .818 269 172
New York Giants 7 5 0 .583 254 211
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 6 0 .500 161 178
Washington Redskins 5 6 1 .455 251 230
Philadelphia Eagles 4 8 0 .333 173 230
Chicago Cardinals 3 9 0 .250 200 299
Western Conference
Detroit Lions 8 4 0 .667 251 231
San Francisco 49ers 8 4 0 .667 260 264
Baltimore Colts 7 5 0 .583 303 235
Los Angeles Rams 6 6 0 .500 307 278
Chicago Bears 5 7 0 .417 203 211
Green Bay Packers 3 9 0 .250 218 311


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 Player Jim Brown, Fullback, Cleveland
AP NFL Coach of the Year George 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)
1957 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 1957 NFL season. The AP, NEA, NYDN, and UPI selected a first and second team.

1957 Baltimore Colts season

The 1957 Baltimore Colts season was the fifth season for the team in the National Football League. The Baltimore Colts finished the National Football League's 1957 season with a record of 7 wins and 5 losses and finished third in the Western Conference.

The 1957 season was the first in which the Colts wore their trademark "horseshoe" logo in the middle of their helmet. The team had experimented with placement of the logo on other parts of the helmet, but 1957 was the year in which they used the logo that the Colts franchise still uses.

1957 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1957 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the team's 25th season in the National Football League. For the first time, the Steelers' yellow helmets sported uniform numbers. Pittsburgh would use these uniforms through the 1961 season.

Chuck Curtis

Charles Curtis (July 15, 1935 – May 9, 2016) was an American football player and coach. He played college football at Texas Christian University (TCU) and had a short stint with the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL) in 1957. Curtis spent most of his coaching career, which spanned from 1958 to 1988, at the high school level in the state of Texas. At the college level, he served as last head football coach at the University of Texas at Arlington, from 1984 to 1985, before the Texas–Arlington Mavericks football program was disbanded.

Frank Purnell

Franklin Purnell April 5, 1933 – April 7, 2007) was an American football player and coach. He played professionally as a fullback in the National Football League (NFL) with the Green Bay Packers during the 1957 NFL season.

Jack Kemp

Jack French Kemp (July 13, 1935 – May 2, 2009) was an American politician and a professional player in both American football and Canadian football. A Republican from New York, he served as Housing Secretary in the administration of President George H. W. Bush from 1989 to 1993, having previously served nine terms in the United States House of Representatives from 1971 to 1989. He was the Republican Party's nominee for Vice President in the 1996 election, where he was the running mate of presidential nominee Bob Dole. Kemp had previously contended for the presidential nomination in the 1988 Republican primaries.

Before entering politics, Kemp was a professional quarterback for 13 years. He played briefly in the National Football League (NFL) and the Canadian Football League (CFL), but became a star in the American Football League (AFL). He served as captain of both the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills and earned the AFL Most Valuable Player award in 1965 after leading the Bills to a second consecutive championship. He played in the AFL for all 10 years of its existence, appeared in its All-Star game seven times, played in its championship game five times, and set many of the league's career passing records. Kemp also co-founded the AFL Players Association, for which he served five terms as president. During the early part of his football career, he served in the United States Army Reserve.

As an economic conservative, Kemp advocated low taxes and supply-side policies during his political career. His positions spanned the social spectrum, ranging from his conservative opposition to abortion to his more libertarian stances advocating immigration reform. As a proponent of both Chicago school and supply-side economics, he is notable as an influence upon the Reagan agenda and the architect of the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which is known as the Kemp–Roth tax cut.

After his days in political office, Kemp remained active as a political advocate and commentator, and served on corporate and nonprofit organization boards. He also authored, co-authored, and edited several books. He promoted American football and advocated for retired professional football players. Kemp was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by President Barack Obama.

Joe Arenas

Guadalupe Joseph Arenas (born December 12, 1925), also known as "Lupe Joe" Arenas and "Little Joe" Arenas, is a former American football player. He was a halfback and defensive back for the San Francisco 49ers from the 1951 to 1957. He was best known as a kickoff and punt returner. His 4,572 career kick and punt return yards was the best in NFL history at the time of his retirement, and his career average of 27.3 yards per kick return remains ninth best in NFL history. Arenas was, along with Tom Fears and Eddie Saenz, among the first Mexican-American players to achieve significant success in the sport of American football.

Jug Girard

Earl Francis "Jug" Girard (January 25, 1927 – January 17, 1997) was an American football player. He played ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL) as an end, halfback, quarterback, punter, kickoff returner, defensive back, and punt returner. He played for the Green Bay Packers (1948-1951), Detroit Lions (1952-1956), and Pittsburgh Steelers (1957). He won two NFL Championships with the Lions in 1952 and 1953. He played college football at the University of Wisconsin in 1944 and 1947 and was selected as a first-team All-American halfback at age 17 in 1944.

NFL Color Rush

The NFL Color Rush was a promotion done in conjunction with the National Football League (NFL) and Nike that promotes so-called "color vs. color" matchups with teams in matchup-specific uniforms that are primarily one solid color with alternating colored accents, primarily airing on Thursday Night Football. Despite being promoted as color vs. color, some games had one team wearing traditional white uniforms, either by choice or out of necessity. The uniforms did not count against each team with regards to their allowed alternate uniform allotment. The games received mixed responses from fans, with some praising the NFL for changing up their games in terms of uniforms, while others criticized the promotion for some of its garish uniforms. The promotion was officially discontinued for the 2018 NFL season, but many teams continue to wear the Color Rush uniforms and promote them heavily, notably the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Norm Amundsen

Norman Robert Amundsen (born September 28, 1932) is a former American football player and coach and college athletics administrator. He played college football at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and professionally as a guard for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). Amundsen served as the head football coach at Beloit College from 1962 to 1967 and Valparaiso University from 1968 to 1976. He was also the athletic director at Valparaiso from 1975 to 1979.

Ollie Matson

Ollie Genoa Matson II (May 1, 1930 – February 19, 2011) was an American Olympic medal winning sprinter and professional American football running back who played in the National Football League (NFL) from 1952 to 1966. Drafted into the NFL by the Chicago Cardinals, Matson was traded to the Los Angeles Rams for nine players following the 1958 season.

Matson was named to the Pro Bowl six times during the course of his career and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972.

Paul Larson (American football)

Paul Leroy Larson (born March 19, 1932) is a former American football player. A native of Turlock, California, Larson played college football at the quarterback position for the California Golden Bears football team. He was selected by the Football Writers Association of America as the first-team quarterback on its 1954 College Football All-America Team. He was selected by the Chicago Cardinals in the eighth round (86th overall pick) of the 1954 NFL Draft and played for the Cardinals in five games during the 1957 NFL season. He later appeared in one game for the Oakland Raiders in 1960.

Sam Palumbo

Sam Palumbo is a former linebacker in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the 1955 NFL Draft and played two seasons with the team. During the 1957 NFL season he played with the Green Bay Packers and later was a member of the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League.

Although he suffered a shoulder dislocation diving for a fumble in a game against the Green Bay Packers in October 1955, Palumbo played in the NFL Championship Game on December 26, intercepting a pass in the second half of the Browns' 38-14 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

As a student-athlete at the University of Notre Dame, he was a college roommate of Regis Philbin.After retiring from pro football, Palumbo joined the Cleveland Football Officials Association and remained active as

an official for more than 40 years at the high school and collegiate level, mentoring countless newer officials during that time. On September 15, 2016, Palumbo was inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.

1957 NFL season
Early era
Modern era

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