1960 NFL season


1960 NFL season

The 1960 NFL season was the 41st regular season of the National Football League. Before the season, Pete Rozelle was elected NFL commissioner as a compromise choice on the twenty-third ballot. Meanwhile, the league expanded to 13 teams with the addition of the Dallas Cowboys. Also, the Cardinals relocated from Chicago, Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri, becoming the St. Louis "football" Cardinals to distinguish itself from the major league baseball team of the same name.

In the 1960 NFL Championship Game, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Green Bay Packers at Franklin Field. Two years earlier, in 1958, these teams had both finished in last place in their respective conferences. This loss was Vince Lombardi's only post-season defeat (excluding a loss in the third place Playoff Bowl game) as an NFL head coach. Following this loss in 1960, Lombardi's Packers won five NFL championship games in seven years, and easily won the first two Super Bowls.

Conference Races

All teams but Dallas played a home-and-away game against the other five members of their own conference, one interconference game, and one game against the new team. The Cowboys, although assigned to the Western Conference, were a "swing team", playing their 12 game schedule against each of the other teams in the league. The Cowboys' first game saw them take a 14-0 lead over the Steelers, with Jim Doran catching a pass from Eddie LeBaron for the first score, but Dallas went on to lose 35-28.

Philadelphia lost its opener, at home, to Cleveland, 41-24. After that, the Eagles went on a 9 game winning streak. The breakthrough came in "Week Six" (October 30), when the unbeaten (3-0-1) New York Giants lost at home to St. Louis, 20-13, and the Browns and Eagles were both at 4-1-0. In "Week Seven", New York beat Cleveland, 17-13, and the Eagles beat Pittsburgh 34-7 [ "Eagles Rout Steelers; Take Conference Lead," "The Post-Standard" (Syracuse), Nov. 7, 1960, p16 ] . The Eagles kept on winning, finishing 10-2-0 and on top of the Eastern Conference. Two of those wins were in consecutive games (November 20 and 27) against New York. In the latter game, the Eagles trailed 17-0, then 23-17, before Norm Van Brocklin threw two touchdown passes in the final quarter for a 31-23 victory. The Giants' Frank Gifford was severely injured in a tackle by Chuck Bednarik [ "The Bridgeport Telegram", Nov. 28, 1960, p12 ] that almost ended his career.

The Western Conference race was one in which Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay and San Francisco all had a lead at one time. The Bears fell back after a "Week Six" loss to the 49ers, 25-7. In "Week Seven", the 4-2 Colts and the 4-1 Packers met on November 6 in Green Bay. Baltimore, which had lost an earlier match, won 38-24, to take the lead in the Western. In "Week Ten", the Colts lost at home to San Francisco, 30-22, and began a streak of defeats. Baltimore's 20-15 loss to the Lions, and Green Bay's 41-13 win at Chicago, tied the Colts and Packers at 6-4-0 in "Week Eleven". After the Packers' 13-0 win at San Francisco, their record was 7-4, while the Colts, Lions and 49ers were all at 6-5. San Francisco and Detroit both won the next week, the former beating Baltimore 34-10, but the Packers won as well, beating Los Angeles 35-21 for the Western title.

The new Dallas Cowboys lost their first ten games, then managed a 31-31 tie in New York. At 0-11-1, they still finished at .000, rather than at .042, under the rules at the time.


NFL Championship Game

Philadelphia 17, Green Bay 13 at Franklin Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 26, 1960

References

*"NFL Record and Fact Book" (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
* [http://www.nfl.com/history/chronology/1951-1960 NFL History 1951-1960] (Last accessed July 8, 2007)
* [http://nflhistory.net/linescores/pdf/1960n.pdf 1960 season in details]
*"Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League" (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)

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