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1940 NFL season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1940 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 8 – December 8, 1940
East ChampionsWashington Redskins
West ChampionsChicago Bears
Championship Game
ChampionsChicago Bears

The 1940 NFL season was the 21st regular season of the National Football League. The season ended when the Chicago Bears defeated the Washington Redskins in the NFL Championship Game, 73–0. This game still stands as the most one-sided victory in NFL history. The Pittsburgh Pirates were renamed the Pittsburgh Steelers before the 1940 season.


The 1940 NFL Draft was held on December 9, 1939 at Milwaukee's Schroeder Hotel. With the first pick, the Chicago Cardinals selected halfback George Cafego from the University of Tennessee.

Major rule changes

  • The penalty for a forward pass not from scrimmage is 5 yards.
  • Penalties for fouls that occur prior to a pass or kick from behind the line of scrimmage are enforced from the previous spot. However, penalties for fouls during a free ball or when the offensive team fouls behind their line are enforced from the spot of the foul.
  • Fouls enforced in the field of play cannot penalize the ball more than half the distance to the offender's goal line.
  • If the offensive team commits pass interference in their opponent's end zone, the defense has the choice of 15 yards from the previous spot and a loss of down, or a touchback.

Final standings

NFL Eastern Division
Washington Redskins 9 2 0 .818 6–2 245 142 W1
Brooklyn Dodgers 8 3 0 .727 6–2 186 120 W4
New York Giants 6 4 1 .600 5–2–1 131 133 L1
Pittsburgh Steelers 2 7 2 .222 1–6–1 60 178 L1
Philadelphia Eagles 1 10 0 .091 1–7 111 211 L1

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

NFL Western Division
Chicago Bears 8 3 0 .727 6–2 238 152 W2
Green Bay Packers 6 4 1 .600 4–3–1 238 155 T1
Detroit Lions 5 5 1 .500 4–3–1 138 153 L1
Cleveland Rams 4 6 1 .400 2–5–1 171 191 T1
Chicago Cardinals 2 7 2 .222 2–5–1 139 222 L3

NFL Championship Game

Chi. Bears 73, Washington 0, at Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C., December 8, 1940

League leaders

Statistic Name Team Yards
Passing Sammy Baugh Washington 1367
Rushing Whizzer White Detroit 514
Receiving Don Looney Philadelphia 707


Joe F. Carr Trophy (Most Valuable Player)   Ace Parker, Halfback, Brooklyn

Coaching changes

Stadium changes


  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1931–1940 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
This page was last edited on 21 June 2020, at 08:35
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