1957 San Francisco 49ers season

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1957 San Francisco 49ers season
Head coach Frankie Albert
Home field Kezar Stadium
Results
Record 8–4–0
Division place T-1st NFL Western
Playoff finish Lost to Detroit Lions
in Conference playoff
Uniform
49ers55 57.png

The 1957 San Francisco 49ers season was the team's eighth season in the NFL. Coming off a 5–6–1 record in 1956, the 49ers tied for the best record in the Western Conference at 8–4.

San Francisco continued their late season success from the previous year, and won five of their first six games and were in first place in the West midway through the season. The Niners then lost three straight on the road to drop to 5–4, but then won the final three games to close out the season at 8–4, their best season since 1953.

The 49ers tied with the Detroit Lions at the top of the Western Conference, and split their two regular season games in November, with the home teams winning. This forced a tie-breaking playoff game at Kezar Stadium on December 22. The winner would host the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Browns for the NFL championship the following week.

The 49ers built a 24–7 lead at halftime, and extended it to twenty points in the third quarter. Detroit's hall of fame quarterback Bobby Layne had been lost for the season two weeks earlier,[1] and backup Tobin Rote lead the Lions' rally, scoring 24 unanswered points in the second half to win, 31–27, which ended the 49ers' season.[2]

Eight weeks earlier on October 27, 49ers' owner Tony Morabito, age 47, suffered a heart attack in the press box at Kezar during the second quarter of the game against the Chicago Bears.[3] He died shortly after arriving at Mary's Help Hospital on Guerrero Street.[4] The team was notified of his death at halftime, and with tears in their eyes, they went back out and won a come-from-behind victory.[5]

Quarterback Y.A. Tittle had another strong season for the 49ers, completing 63.1% of his passes for 2157 yards and 13 TD's. He also rushed for 6 TD's. End Billy Wilson led the club with 52 receptions for 757 yards, along with a team high 6 TD's. Running back Hugh McElhenny led in rushing with 478 yards on 102 attempts.

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

Pick # NFL Team Player Position College
3 San Francisco 49ers John Brodie [6] Quarterback Stanford

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

# Date Visitor Score Home Record Attendance
1 September 29 Chicago Cardinals 20–10 San Francisco 49ers 0–1–0 35,743
2 October 6 Los Angeles Rams 20–23 San Francisco 49ers 1–1–0 59,637
3 October 13 San Francisco 49ers 21–17 Chicago Bears 2–1–0 45,310
4 October 20 San Francisco 49ers 24–14 Green Bay Packers 3–1–0 18,919
5 October 27 Chicago Bears 17-21 San Francisco 49ers 4–1–0 56,693
6 November 3 Detroit Lions 31-35 San Francisco 49ers 5–1–0 59,702
7 November 10 San Francisco 49ers 37–24 Los Angeles Rams 5–2–0 102,368
8 November 17 San Francisco 49ers 31–10 Detroit Lions 5–3–0 56,915
9 November 24 San Francisco 49ers 27–21 Baltimore Colts 5–4–0 50,073
10 December 1 San Francisco 49ers 27–17 New York Giants 6–4–0 54,121
11 December 8 Baltimore Colts 17–13 San Francisco 49ers 7–4–0 59,950
12 December 15 Green Bay Packers 27–20 San Francisco 49ers 8–4–0 59,100

Standings[edit]

NFL Western Conference
W L T PCT CONF PF PA STK
Detroit Lions 8 4 0 .667 6–4 251 231 W3
San Francisco 49ers 8 4 0 .667 7–3 260 264 W3
Baltimore Colts 7 5 0 .583 6–4 303 235 L2
Los Angeles Rams 6 6 0 .500 5–5 307 278 W2
Chicago Bears 5 7 0 .417 4–6 203 211 L1
Green Bay Packers 3 9 0 .250 2–8 218 311 L3

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

Western Conference Playoff[edit]

Main article: 1957 NFL playoffs
Date Visitor Score Home Attendance
December 22 Detroit Lions 31–27 San Francisco 49ers 60,118

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lions lose Layne but win, 20-7". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 9, 1957. p. 26. 
  2. ^ "Lions thrilling rally wins playoff, 31-27". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. p. 20. 
  3. ^ "Morabito dies of heart attack". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. October 28, 1957. p. 12, part 2. 
  4. ^ "Morabito, 49ers, dies". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. October 28, 1957. p. 26. 
  5. ^ Rosenbaum, Art (November 4, 1957). "Tony Morabito, The Autocrat Of The San Francisco 49ers, Ran His Team With A Belligerent Disdain For Outsiders. But He Loved His Team, And Last Week He Died As He Would Have Wished—watching Them Take The Division Lead". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 14, 2011. 
  6. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 398