1945 Cleveland Rams Season
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1945 Cleveland Rams Season

1945 Cleveland Rams season
Head coachAdam Walsh
Home fieldLeague Park
Results
Record9-1
Division place1st NFL Western
Playoff finishWon NFL Championship

The 1945 Cleveland Rams season was the team's eighth year with the National Football League and the ninth and final season in Cleveland. Led by the brother tandem of head coach Adam Walsh and general manager Chile Walsh, and helmed by future Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Waterfield, the Rams franchise finished 9-1 before winning its first NFL Championship by defeating the Washington Redskins, 15-14, at Cleveland Stadium. Other stars on the team included receiver Jim Benton and back Jim Gillette, who gained more than 100 yards in the title game.

One month after winning the championship, team owner Dan Reeves, frustrated by continuing financial losses and anxious of the startup in the coming year of the All-America Football Conference Cleveland Browns, moved the team to Los Angeles, marking the first and still only time an NFL champion has played the following season in another city.

Off season

NFL Draft

Round Pick Player Position College
1 5 Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch End Michigan
2 16 Milan Lazetich Tackle Michigan
3 21 W.G. (Dub) Wooten End Oklahoma
4 32 Jack Zilly End Notre Dame
5 37 Roger Harding Center California
6 48 Jerry Cowhig Back Notre Dame
7 59 Fred Negus Center Wisconsin
8 70 Johnny August Back Alabama
9 81 Dick Huffman Tackle Tennessee
10 92 Vern Walters Back Alma
11 103 Tom Fears End UCLA
12 114 Joe Winkler Center Purdue
13 125 Jack Aland Tackle Alabama
14 136 Chuck Uknes Back Iowa
15 147 Bill Lund Back Case Western Reserve
16 158 Bob Barton End Holy Cross
17 169 Dick Hoerner Back Iowa
18 180 Lee Kennon Tackle Oklahoma
19 191 Eagle Matulich Back Mississippi State
20 202 Bill Griffin Tackle Kentucky
21 213 Leroy Erickson Back Oregon
22 224 Ray Evans Tackle Texas-El Paso
23 235 Luke Higgins Tackle Notre Dame
24 246 Stan Nowak End South Carolina
25 257 Gene Konopka Guard Villanova
26 268 Ray Florek Back Illinois
27 279 Russ Perry Back Wake Forest
28 290 Pat West Back USC
29 301 Bill Davis Back Oregon
30 312 Charley Compton Tackle Alabama

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Results Venue Attendance
Final score Team record
1 Bye Week
2 September 30, 1945 Chicago Cardinals W 21-0 1-0 League Park 10,872
3 October 7, 1945 Chicago Bears W 17-0 2-0 League Park 19,580
4 October 14, 1945 at Green Bay Packers W 27-14 3-0 East Stadium 24,607
5 October 21, 1945 at Chicago Bears W 41-21 4-0 Wrigley Field 28,273
6 October 28, 1945 at Philadelphia Eagles L 14-28 4-1 Shibe Park 38,149
7 November 4, 1945 at New York Giants W 21-17 5-1 Polo Grounds 46,219
8 November 11, 1945 Green Bay Packers W 20-7 6-1 League Park 28,686
9 November 18, 1945 at Chicago Cardinals W 35-21 7-1 Comiskey Park 18,000
10 November 22, 1945 at Detroit Lions W 28-21 8-1 Briggs Stadium 40,017
11 December 2, 1945 Boston Yanks W 20-7 9-1 League Park 18,470

Standings

NFL Western Division
W L T PCT DIV PF PA STK
Cleveland Rams 9 1 0 .900 7-0 244 136 W5
Detroit Lions 7 3 0 .700 5-2 195 194 W1
Green Bay Packers 6 4 0 .600 3-4 258 173 L1
Chicago Bears 3 7 0 .300 2-6 192 235 W2
Chicago Cardinals 1 9 0 .100 1-6 98 228 L6

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

Regular season

Week 2: vs. Chicago Cardinals

Week 3: vs. Chicago Bears

Week 4: at Green Bay Packers

1 2 3 4 Total
Rams 6 0 0 21 27
Packers 0 0 7 7 14

at East Stadium, Green Bay, Wisconsin

  • Game attendance: 24,607

CLE - Benton 17 pass from Waterfield (kick failed)
GB - Comp 1 run (Hutson kick)
GB - Fritsch 3 run (Hutson kick)
CLE - Colella 6 pass from Waterfield (Waterfield kick)
CLE - Greenwood 1 run (Waterfield kick)
CLE - Colella 5 run (Waterfield kick)

Week 5: at Chicago Bears

1 2 3 4 Total
Rams 6 14 7 14 41
Bears 0 7 14 0 21

at Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

  • Game attendance: 28,273

CLE - Greenwood 11 run (kick failed)
CLE - Colella 3 run (Waterfield kick)
CLE - Gehrke 10 run (Waterfield kick)
CHI - Margarita 1 run (Gudauskas kick)
CHI - Margarita 42 pass from Luckman (Gudauskas kick)
CHI - Gallameau 2 run (Gudauskas kick)
CLE - Greenwood 8 run (Waterfield kick)
CLE - Benton 21 pass from Waterfield (Waterfield kick)
CLE - Colella 18 pass from Reisz (Waterfield kick)

Week 6: at Philadelphia Eagles

Week 7: at New York Giants

Week 8: vs. Green Bay Packers

Week 9: at Chicago Cardinals

Week 10: at Detroit Lions

Week 11: vs. Boston Yanks

Post season

NFL Championship Game: vs. Washington Redskins

In the first quarter, the Redskins had the ball at their own 5-yard line. Dropping back into the end zone, quarterback Sammy Baugh threw, but the ball hit the goal post (which at the time were on the goal line instead of at the back of the end zone) and bounced back to the ground in the end zone. Under the rules at the time, this was ruled as a safety and thus gave the Rams a 2-0 lead.

In the second quarter, Baugh suffered bruised ribs and was replaced by Frank Filchock. Filchock threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Steve Bagarus to give the Redskins a 7-2 lead. But the Rams scored just before halftime when rookie quarterback Bob Waterfield threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Jim Benton. Waterfield's ensuing extra point was partially blocked, with the ball teetering on the crossbar, but it dropped over to give Cleveland a 9-7 lead.

In the third quarter, the Rams increased their lead when Jim Gillette scored on a 44-yard touchdown reception, but this time the extra point was missed. The Redskins then came back to cut their deficit to 15-14 with Seymour's 8-yard touchdown catch from Filchock. In the fourth quarter, Washington kicker Joe Aguirre missed two field goals attempts, of 46 and 31 yards, that could have won the game.

Roster

Bold denotes player on the roster on the official NFL roster at the end of 1945 season.[1]

Name Position Height Weight 1945 Games 1945 Starts Years in NFL University Notes
Graham Armstrong Tackle 6'2" 215 1 0 2 John Carroll
Jim Benton End 6'3" 195 9 5 7 Arkansas
David Bernard Fullback 5'10" 197 7 0 2 Mississippi
Gil Bouley Tackle 6'2" 233 6 6 1 Boston College
Thomas Colella Halfback 5'11-" 185 10 1 4 Canisius
Bob DeLauer Center 6'1" 213 2 2 1 USA
Roger Eason Tackle 6'2" 220 2 0 1 Oklahoma
Fred Gehrke Halfback 5'11" 190 10 7 2 Utah
James Gillette Halfback 6'1-" 185 10 7 3 Virginia
Don Greenwood Fullback 5'11" 191 9 6 1 Illinois
Ray Hamilton End 6'4" 210 9 0 4 Arkansas
Roger Harding Center 6'2" 195 6 0 1 Cal
Howard Hickey End 6'2" 195 8 2 2 Arkansas
Jack Jacobs Quarterback 6'1" 180 2 1 2 Oklahoma
Harvey Jones Halfback 6'0" 175 9 2 2 Baylor
George Koch Halfback 6'1" 200 5 0 1 St. Mary's of Texas
Floyd Konetsky End 6'1" 195 10 3 2 University of Miami
William Lazetich Guard 6'1-" 195 10 7 1 Montana
Leslie Lear Guard 5'11" 223 9 1 2 Manitoba University
Butch Levy Tackle 6'0" 260 7 1 1 Minnesota
Elvin Liles Guard 5'9-" 195 8 0 3 Oklahoma A&M Started season with Detroit Lions.
Riley Matheson Guard 6'2" 210 10 10 7 Texas Mines
Arthur Morgenthal Guard 5'11" 215 10 2 1 Notre Dame
Raymond Monaco Guard 5'10-" 215 1 0 3 Holy Cross
Rudy Mucha Guard 6'1-" 246 3 0 2 Washington Ended season with Chicago Bears.
Steve Nemeth Quarterback 5'10" 172 9 3 1 Notre Dame
George Phillips Quarterback 6'3-" 215 1 0 1 UCLA
Steve Pritko End 6'2" 210 10 10 3 Villanova
Albie Reisz Quarterback 5'9" 170 10 0 2 Southeastern
William Reith Center 5'11-" 203 1 0 3 Carnegie Tech
Ralph Ruthstrom Fullback 6'4" 208 6 2 1 Southern Methodist
Mike Scarry Center 5'11" 220 10 10 2 Waynesburg University
Eberle Schultz Tackle 6'4" 245 10 10 5 Oregon State
Bob Shaw End 6'3" 229 5 0 1 Ohio State
Rudy Sikich Tackle 6'1" 219 6 2 1 Minnesota
Bob Waterfield Quarterback 6'1" 191 10 6 1 UCLA 1945 NFL Most Valuable Player
Pat West Fullback 6'1" 204 10 7 1 USC
Joe Winkler Center 6'1" 200 8 0 1 Purdue
James Worden Halfback 5'10" 180 5 5 1 Waynesburg
Walter Zirinsky Halfback 5'11-" 187 5 0 1 Lafayette University

Awards and records

Footnotes

  1. ^ George Strickler (ed.), The National Football League Record and Rules Manual, 1946. New York: National Football League, 1946; pg. 110.
  2. ^ Jack Cavanaugh, Giants Among Men. New York: Random House, 2008, pg. 57

External links


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