1937 NFL season

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1937 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 5 – December 12, 1937
East Champions Washington Redskins
West Champions Chicago Bears
Championship Game
Champions Washington Redskins

The 1937 NFL season was the 18th regular season of the National Football League. The Cleveland Rams joined the league as an expansion team. Meanwhile, the Redskins relocated from Boston to Washington, D.C.

The season ended when the Redskins, led by rookie tailback Sammy Baugh, defeated the Chicago Bears in the NFL Championship Game.

Major rule changes[edit]

  • All players are required to wear numerals on their jerseys whose color must be in sharp contrast with the jersey color. The numbers on the front must be at least 6 inches (150 mm) while the ones on the back must be at least 8 inches (200 mm).
  • If a kickoff goes out of bounds, the ball is put in play either on the opponent's 35-yard line or 10 yards from the spot where it crossed the sideline.
  • The penalty for an illegal forward pass that is thrown beyond the line of scrimmage is a loss of down and five yards from the spot of the foul.

Division races[edit]

Midway through the NFL's 11-game season, the Bears were unbeaten (5–0) in the Western Division, while the Giants were leaders in the Eastern (4–1), and they played to a 3–3 tie. The Giants and Bears continued to stay in the lead in their divisions, and the Bears clinched a spot in the title game with its 13–0 win over Detroit. On December 5, the final game of the season had Washington (7–3 and .700) traveling to New York (6–2–2 and .750). A win or a tie would have given the Giants the Eastern title; the Redskins triumphed, 49–14, and got the division crown and the trip to face Chicago in the 1937 championship game.

Final standings[edit]

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
Washington Redskins 8 3 0 .727 195 120
New York Giants 6 3 2 .667 128 109
Pittsburgh Pirates 4 7 0 .364 122 145
Brooklyn Dodgers 3 7 1 .300 82 174
Philadelphia Eagles 2 8 1 .200 86 177
Western Division
Chicago Bears 9 1 1 .900 201 100
Green Bay Packers 7 4 0 .636 220 122
Detroit Lions 7 4 0 .636 180 105
Chicago Cardinals 5 5 1 .500 135 165
Cleveland Rams 1 10 0 .091 75 207

NFL Championship Game[edit]

Washington 28, Chi. Bears 21, at Wrigley Field, Chicago, December 12, 1937

League leaders[edit]

Statistic Name Team Yards
Passing Sammy Baugh Washington 1127
Rushing Cliff Battles Washington 874
Receiving Gaynell Tinsley Chicago Cardinals 675


The 1937 NFL Draft was held on December 12, 1936 at New York City's Hotel Lincoln. With the first pick, the Philadelphia Eagles selected runningback Sam Francis from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Eastern Division[edit]

Western Division[edit]


See also[edit]