|Duration||September 23 – December 9, 1945|
|East Champions||Washington Redskins|
|West Champions||Cleveland Rams|
The 1945 NFL season was the 26th regular season of the National Football League. The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Cardinals resumed their traditional operations.
The remains of the final Ohio League member Dayton Triangles, then known as the Brooklyn Tigers, and the Boston Yanks merged for this one season. The combined team, known simply as The Yanks, played four games at Boston's Fenway Park and one game at New York's Yankee Stadium. After Brooklyn Tigers owner Dan Topping announced his intentions to join the new All-America Football Conference, his rights to the Triangles' legacy franchise were immediately revoked after the season and all of its players were assigned to the Boston Yanks, who carried on the team's lineage.
The season ended when the Cleveland Rams defeated the Washington Redskins in the NFL Championship Game in Cleveland.
The 1945 NFL Draft was held on April 8, 1945 at New York City's Commodore Hotel. With the first pick, the Chicago Cardinals selected halfback Charley Trippi from the University of Georgia.
In the Eastern Division, the Yanks were still unbeaten (2–0–1) as of Week Four; at their only Yankee Stadium game (October 14), they had a 13–10 lead, but the Giants tied them 13–13. In Week Five, the Yanks' 38–14 loss to Green Bay, put them at 2–1–1, tied with 2–1–0 Washington, while in the Western race, the Rams reached 4–0 after a 41–21 win over the Bears.
In Week Six, halfway through the ten-game season, Boston and Washington both won, putting them even at 3–1–1 and 3–1–0.
The Rams' 28–14 loss to the Eagles, along with wins by the Lions and Packers, tied all four teams at 4–1 in the West. In Week Seven, a blocked extra point attempt gave Detroit a 10–9 win at Boston, keeping the Lions tied with the Rams (at 5–1) for the Western lead, while taking the 3–2–1 Yanks to a game behind the 4–1 Redskins.
In Week Nine, the Rams took the lead in the Western after a 35–21 win over the Cards, while the Lions lost 35–14 to the Giants.
In Week Ten, the 7–1 Rams and the 6–2 Lions met in Detroit's Thanksgiving Day game. For the Lions it was a must-win game, but they lost 28–21; thus, at 8–1, the Rams clinched the division and the right to host the Championship Game.
Days later, the 5–2 Eagles hosted the 6–1 Redskins, and the Eagles' 16–0 win tied the teams at 6–2 in the Eastern race. The next week, however, the Eagles lost to the Giants 28–21, while the Redskins beat the Steelers 24–0. Washington's 17–0 win over the Giants the next week clinched the division.
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
Main article: 1945 NFL Championship Game
Cleveland 15, Washington 14, at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 16
|Passing||Sid Luckman||Chicago Bears||1727|
|Rushing||Steve Van Buren||Philadelphia||832|
|Receiving||Jim Benton||Cleveland Rams||1067|
|Joe F. Carr Trophy (Most Valuable Player)||Bob Waterfield, quarterback, Cleveland|