1957 NFL Playoffs
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1957 NFL Playoffs

The 1957 National Football League season resulted in a tie for the Western Conference championship between the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers. Both finished at 8-4 and had split their two games during the regular season in November, with the home team winning each.

The tie thus required a one-game playoff to be held between the two teams. This conference championship game was played on December 22 at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, and Detroit won, 31-27.[1]

The Lions moved on to host the Cleveland Browns on December 29 in the championship game, and won in a 59-14 rout at Briggs Stadium for their third title in six years.[2][3][4][5] Through 2020, it is Detroit's most recent league title, and second-most recent victory in a postseason game.

Tournament bracket

  Western Conference playoff     NFL Championship
    E Cleveland Browns 14
  W San Francisco 49ers 27     W Detroit Lions 59
  W Detroit Lions 31  

Western Conference championship

The Lions trailed the 49ers 24-7 at halftime, and were down twenty points in the third quarter. Quarterback Bobby Layne had been lost for the season two weeks earlier,[6] and backup Tobin Rote lead the Lions' rally, scoring 24 unanswered points in the second half to win, 31-27.[1] The game was featured on NFL Top 10 as #2 on Top Ten Comebacks.[7]

NFL Championship game


  1. ^ a b "Lions thrilling rally wins playoff, 31-27". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. p. 20.
  2. ^ Johnson, Chuck (December 30, 1957). "Rote's passes, play calling smash Cleveland, 59 to 14". Milwaukee Journal. p. 7, part 2.
  3. ^ Sell, Jack (December 30, 1957). "Lions crush Browns, 59 to 14, to win title". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 18.
  4. ^ Jones, Eddie T. (December 30, 1957). "Browns show off collapsing defense". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). p. 11.
  5. ^ Maule, Tex (January 6, 1958). "All hail the lusty Lions". Sports Illustrated. p. 8.
  6. ^ "Lions lose Layne but win, 20-7". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 9, 1957. p. 26.
  7. ^ "Top 10 greatest comebacks in NFL history". National Football League. 2009-01-07. Retrieved .

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