1949 NFL season

Last updated

1949 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 22 – December 18, 1949
East Champions Philadelphia Eagles
West Champions Los Angeles Rams
Championship Game
Champions Philadelphia Eagles

The 1949 NFL season was the 30th regular season of the National Football League. Prior to the season, Boston Yanks owner Ted Collins asked the league to fold his team due to financial woes, and give him a new one in New York City. This new team would be called the New York Bulldogs. The franchise, which to this day has still never missed a season in some form, carried on the legacy of the final Ohio League member Dayton Triangles, and its players and assets were moved to New York but not specifically folded. As a result of the move, professional football would not return to Boston until the Patriots began play in 1960.

Contents

As the regular season came to a close, a merger agreement between the NFL and the All-America Football Conference was announced on December 9. Three AAFC teams joined the NFL in 1950, the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and Baltimore Colts. [1] [2]

The season ended on December 18 with the NFL Championship Game. In muddy conditions, the visiting Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Los Angeles Rams 14–0, as heavy rain in southern California kept the attendance under 23,000 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. [3] Both teams had potent offenses, but were severely limited by the poor field conditions. The management of the Eagles and Rams had favored a postponement for a week, but were overruled by commissioner Bert Bell. [4]

Draft

The 1949 NFL Draft was held on December 21, 1948 at Philadelphia's Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. With the first pick, the Philadelphia Eagles selected center Chuck Bednarik from the University of Pennsylvania.

Major rule changes

Division races

In the Eastern Division, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh both had records of 4–1–0 when they met in Week Six. The Eagles won 38–7, and kept the lead for the remainder of the season. In the Western Division, the Rams got off to a 6–0–0 start while the Bears were 3–3–0 at midseason. Though the Bears won all of their remaining games, they never caught up to the Rams, who finished at 8–2–2.

Had the current (post-1972) system of counting ties as half a win and half a loss been in place in 1949, the Rams would have required a playoff with the Bears for the Western Division.

Final standings

NFL Championship Game

Philadelphia 14, Los Angeles 0 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, December 18, 1949. [3] [4]

League leaders

StatisticNameTeamYards
Passing Johnny Lujack Chicago Bears2658
Rushing Steve Van Buren Philadelphia1146
Receiving Bob Mann Detroit1014

Coaching changes

Stadium changes

The New York Bulldogs began play at the Polo Grounds, sharing it with the Giants

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References

  1. "Pro football leagues agree to merge;". Milwaukee Journal. December 10, 1949. p. 8.
  2. "Four-year pro grid war ends! NFL, AAC merge". Milwaukee Sentinel. December 10, 1949. p. 4, part 2.
  3. 1 2 "Philadelphia Eagles take NFL championship with 14-0 win in rain, mud". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. December 19, 1949. p. 9.
  4. 1 2 "Eagles winners in muddy battle". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. December 19, 1949. p. 17.