1958 NFL season

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1958 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 28 –
December 14, 1958
East ChampionsNew York Giants (playoff)
West ChampionsBaltimore Colts
Championship Game
ChampionsBaltimore Colts

The 1958 NFL season was the 39th regular season of the National Football League.

The Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants, 23–17, in the first sudden-death overtime in an NFL Championship Game. The game became known to American football fans as "The Greatest Game Ever Played".

Conference races[edit]

The 1958 Colts–Giants title game was a milestone in the popularity of pro football, but the Giants almost did not qualify. The Cleveland Browns led the Eastern Conference title race up until the final week. On December 14, the 9–2 Browns visited the 8–3 Giants. As a snowstorm swept over Yankee Stadium, the Browns' 10–3 lead gave way to a 10–10 tie game on Frank Gifford's pass to Bob Schnelker, which would still have suited Cleveland. The Giants' Pat Summerall missed a 31-yard field goal with 4½ minutes left. With two minutes to play, Summerall had another opportunity from 49 yards out, in inclement weather and connected for a 13–10 win. The goal post from that game was broken down and a part of it was later used by FOX Sports as part of a plaque that was given to Summerall for his retirement gift following Super Bowl XXXVI, which he and John Madden called for Fox. The Browns and Giants finished with 9–3 records, and in the playoff the next week, the Giants won again at Yankee Stadium, 10–0.

The Western Conference race was over after ten games, with the Colts at 9–1, and the Bears and Rams mathematically eliminated at 6–4. The Colts lost their final two games on the road in California to finish at 9–3, a game ahead of Chicago and Los Angeles.

The Green Bay Packers finished with a league-worst record of 1–10–1 and hired Vince Lombardi, offensive coach of the Giants, as head coach in January 1959. Philadelphia finished tied for worst in the East, at 2-9-1. Two years later, both the Eagles and Packers would play for the championship.

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 Conference
Team W L T PCT PF PA
New York Giants 9 3 0 .750 246 183
Cleveland Browns 9 3 0 .750 302 217
Pittsburgh Steelers 7 4 1 .636 261 230
Washington Redskins 4 7 1 .364 214 268
Chicago Cardinals 2 9 1 .182 261 356
Philadelphia Eagles 2 9 1 .182 235 306
Western Conference
Team W L T PCT PF PA
Baltimore Colts 9 3 0 .750 381 203
Chicago Bears 8 4 0 .667 298 230
Los Angeles Rams 8 4 0 .667 344 278
San Francisco 49ers 6 6 0 .500 257 324
Detroit Lions 4 7 1 .364 261 276
Green Bay Packers 1 10 1 .091 193 382

Playoffs[edit]

Home team in capitals

Eastern Conference Playoff Game

  • New York 10, Cleveland 0

NFL Championship Game

  • Baltimore 23, New York 17 (OT)

Awards[edit]

Most Valuable Player Jim Brown, Fullback, Cleveland
Coach of the Year Weeb Eubank, Baltimore Colts

Draft[edit]

The 1958 NFL Draft was held on December 2, 1957 and January 28, 1958 at Philadelphia's Warwick Hotel. With the first pick, the Chicago Cardinals selected quarterback King Hill from Rice University.

Coaches[edit]

Eastern Conference[edit]

Western Conference[edit]

References[edit]

  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1951–1960 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)