1957 NFL playoffs

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The 1957 National Football League season resulted in a tie for the Western Conference championship between the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers. Both finished at 8–4 and had split their two games during the regular season in November, with the home team winning each.

The tie thus required a one-game playoff to be held between the two clubs. This conference championship game was played on December 22 at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, and Detroit won, 31–27.[1]

The Lions moved on to host the Cleveland Browns on December 29 in the championship game, and won in a 59–14 rout at Briggs Stadium for their third title in six years.[2][3][4] As of 2017, it is Detroit's most recent league title.

Tournament bracket[edit]

  Western Conference playoff     NFL Championship
    E Cleveland Browns 14
  W San Francisco 49ers 27     W Detroit Lions 59
  W Detroit Lions 31  

Western Conference championship[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Lions 0 7 14 10 31
49ers 14 10 3 0 27

at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco

  • Date: December 22, 1957
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. PST
  • Game attendance: 60,118

The Lions trailed the 49ers 24–7 at halftime, and were down twenty points in the third quarter. Quarterback Bobby Layne had been lost for the season two weeks earlier,[5] and backup Tobin Rote lead the Lions' rally, scoring 24 unanswered points in the second half to win, 31–27.[1] The game was featured on NFL Top 10 as #2 on Top Ten Comebacks.[6]

NFL Championship game[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Lions thrilling rally wins playoff, 31-27". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. p. 20. 
  2. ^ Johnson, Chuck (December 30, 1957). "Rote's passes, play calling smash Cleveland, 59 to 14". Milwaukee Journal. p. 7, part 2. 
  3. ^ Sell, Jack (December 30, 1957). "Lions crush Browns, 59 to 14, to win title". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 18. 
  4. ^ Jones, Eddie T. (December 30, 1957). "Browns show off collapsing defense". Toldeo Blade. Ohio. p. 11. 
  5. ^ "Lions lose Layne but win, 20-7". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 9, 1957. p. 26. 
  6. ^ "Top 10 greatest comebacks in NFL history". National Football League. 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2013-01-03.