1951 NFL season

1951 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 28 – December 16, 1951
American Conf. Champions Cleveland Browns
National Conf. Champions Los Angeles Rams
Championship Game
Champions Los Angeles Rams

The 1951 NFL season was the 32nd regular season of the National Football League. Prior to the season, Baltimore Colts owner Abraham Watner faced financial difficulties, and thus gave his team and its player contracts back to the league for $50,000. However, many Baltimore fans started to protest the loss of their team. Supporting groups such as its fan club and its marching band remained in operation and worked for the team's revival (which eventually led to a new Baltimore team in 1953).

For the first time, the NFL Championship Game was televised across the nation. The DuMont Television Network paid $75,000 to broadcast the game. Viewers coast-to-coast watched the Los Angeles Rams defeat the Cleveland Browns 24–17.

Major rule changes

Regular season highlights

Conference races

Week National American
1 4 teams (Bears, DET, LA, SF) 1–0–0 Philadelphia Eagles 1–0–0
2 Detroit Lions 2–0–0 Philadelphia Eagles 2–0–0
3 5 teams (Bears, Det., GB, L.A.,S.F.) 2–1–0 New York Giants 2–0–1
4 Tie (Bears, Rams) 3–1–0 New York Giants 3–0–1
5 Chicago Bears 4–1–0 Cleveland Browns 4–1–0
6 Chicago Bears 5–1–0 Cleveland Browns 5–1–0
7 Tie (Bears, Rams) 5–2–0 Cleveland Browns 6–1–0
8 Tie (Bears, Rams) 6–2–0 Cleveland Browns 7–1–0
9 Detroit Lions 6–2–1 Cleveland Browns 8–1–0
10 Los Angeles Rams 7–3–0 Cleveland Browns 9–1–0
11 Detroit Lions 7–3–1 Cleveland Browns 10–1–0
12 Los Angeles Rams 8–4–0 Cleveland Browns 11–1–0

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

American Conference
Cleveland Browns 1110.917331152
New York Giants 921.818254161
Washington Redskins 570.417183296
Pittsburgh Steelers 471.364183235
Philadelphia Eagles 480.333234264
Chicago Cardinals 390.250210287
National Conference
Los Angeles Rams 840.667392261
Detroit Lions 741.636336259
San Francisco 49ers 741.636255205
Chicago Bears 750.583286282
Green Bay Packers 390.250254375
New York Yanks 192.100241382

NFL Championship Game

For more details on this topic, see 1951 NFL Championship Game.

Los Angeles 24, Cleveland 17 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, December 23, 1951


League leaders

Statistic Name Team Yards
Passing Bobby Layne Detroit 2403
Rushing Eddie Price New York Giants 971
Receiving Elroy Hirsch Los Angeles 1495


  1. http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2013/09/kyle_wilson_is_chief_culprit_as_jets_commit_franchise-record_20_penalties.html
  2. "Rams Batter Packers for Division Title in Pro Grid Loop," The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), Dec 17, 1951, p11
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