1948 Chicago Cardinals season
OwnerViolet Bidwill Wolfner
Head coachJimmy Conzelman
Home fieldComiskey Park
Division place1st Western
Playoff finishLost NFL Championship
(at Eagles) 0–7

The 1948 Chicago Cardinals season was the 29th season in franchise history. The Cardinals won the Western division on the final weekend at Wrigley Field over the cross-town Bears,[1] and appeared in the NFL championship game for the second consecutive year. The defending champions lost 7–0 to the Eagles in a snowstorm in Philadelphia.[2][3][4][5] It was their final postseason appearance as a Chicago team; they relocated southwest to St. Louis in 1960.

The Cardinals scored 395 points (32.9 per game) in 1948, the most in the ten-team NFL, and the second most all-time in a 12-game season.[6] They also led the league in offensive yards, yards per play, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.[7] The team's plus-169 point-differential remains the best in franchise history.[8]

The 1948 NFL season produced more points-per-game per team than any other season, and according to Cold Hard Football Facts:

"Jimmy Conzelman's Chicago Cardinals were the best of the bunch. They led the NFL in scoring that year (32.9 [points-per-game]) and they produced what was probably the greatest four-week stretch of offense in pro football history. From October 17 to November 7, the 1948 Cardinals beat the Giants 63–35; the Boston Yanks, 49–27; the L.A. Rams 27–22; and the Lions, 56–20. That's a four-week average of 48.8 [points-per-game] for those of you keeping score at home.

"Yes, turnovers were common in 1948, so maybe that fact made life easier for offense. The Cardinals, for example, picked off 23 passes in 12 games. But they scored just two defensive touchdowns all year, while adding four on special teams. Mostly, they ripped off touchdowns, a remarkable 47 on offense. They kicked a mere eight field goals.

"Mostly, the offense was virtually unstoppable and it didn't settle often for the cheap, soccer-style field goals that pad offensive team totals today."[9]

The Cardinals had three players in the top six in rushing in 1948: halfbacks Charley Trippi (690 yards), and Elmer Angsman (638), and fullback/linebacker/placekicker Pat Harder (554).[10] Harder led the league in scoring in 1948, with 110 points (6 rushing touchdowns, 7 field goals, and 53 extra points).[11] He was named the league's MVP by United Press International.

This was the Cardinals' last playoff game until 1974, although they did win the third place Playoff Bowl in Miami over Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers in January 1965. The Cardinals' next appearance in an NFL championship game was sixty years later in Super Bowl XLIII in January 2009.


NFL draft

Main article: 1948 NFL Draft

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue
1 Bye
2 September 24 Philadelphia Eagles W 21–14 1–0 Comiskey Park
3 October 4 Chicago Bears L 17–28 1–1 Comiskey Park
4 October 10 at Green Bay Packers W 17–7 2–1 Wisconsin State Fair Park
5 October 17 at New York Giants W 63–35 3–1 Polo Grounds
6 October 24 Boston Yanks W 49–27 4–1 Comiskey Park
7 October 31 at Los Angeles Rams W 27–22 5–1 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
8 November 7 Detroit Lions W 56–20 6–1 Comiskey Park
9 November 14 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 24–7 7–1 Forbes Field
10 November 21 Los Angeles Rams W 27–24 8–1 Comiskey Park
11 November 25 at Detroit Lions W 28–14 9–1 Briggs Stadium
12 December 5 Green Bay Packers W 42–7 10–1 Comiskey Park
13 December 12 at Chicago Bears W 24–21 11–1 Wrigley Field
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.



NFL Western Division
Chicago Cardinals 11 1 0 .917 7–1 395 226 W10
Chicago Bears 10 2 0 .833 7–1 375 151 L1
Los Angeles Rams 6 5 1 .545 3–5 327 269 W3
Green Bay Packers 3 9 0 .250 2–6 154 290 L7
Detroit Lions 2 10 0 .167 1–7 200 407 L3

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


Chicago Cardinals roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

rookies in italics


NFL Championship Game

Main article: 1948 NFL Championship Game

The 1948 NFL championship game was the sixteenth NFL title game and a rematch of the previous year's game between the Chicago Cardinals of the Western Division and the Eastern Division's Philadelphia Eagles. It was played at Philadelphia's Shibe Park on December 19 and the host Eagles won 7–0 in the snow.[3][4][5][13]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
Championship December 19 at Philadelphia Eagles L 0–7 0–1 Shibe Park 36,309 (paid), 28,864 (actual)

Awards and records


  1. ^ Smith, Wilfrid (December 13, 1948). "51,283 see Cards retain West title, 24-21". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1, part 4.
  2. ^ Smith, Wilfrid (December 19, 1948). "Cards seek their second from Eagles". Chicago Sunday Tribune. p. 1, part 2.
  3. ^ a b Smith, Wilfrid (December 20, 1948). "Browns win, 49-7; Eagles jar cards, 7-0". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 43.
  4. ^ a b Kuechle, Oliver E. (December 20, 1948). "Eagles beat Cardinals for title in snowstorm". Milwaukee Journal. p. 6, part 2.
  5. ^ a b "Eagles plow over Cardinals, 7-0, for National loop title". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. December 20, 1948. p. 3, part 2.
  6. ^ Second only to the 1950 Rams, Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single season, from 1947 to 1960, in the NFL, in the regular season, sorted by descending Points For.
  7. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1948 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics
  8. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single season, from 1940 to 2012, playing for the Ari (StL/Chi) Cardinals, in the regular season, sorted by descending Points Differential.
  9. ^ Cold, Hard Football Facts: The Spirit of '48
  10. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1948 NFL Leaders and Leaderboards
  11. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: Pat Harder
  12. ^ 1948 Chicago Cardinals
  13. ^ "1948 NFL Standings & playoff Scores". Archived from the original on March 26, 2008. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
  14. ^ a b c NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 456
  15. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 474