1942 NFL season

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1942 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 13 – December 13, 1942
East Champions Washington Redskins
West Champions Chicago Bears
Championship Game
Champions Washington Redskins

The 1942 NFL season was the 23rd regular season of the National Football League. Before the season, many players left for service in World War II, thus depleting the rosters of all the teams.

The Chicago Bears finished the regular season at 11–0, and faced the 10–1 Washington Redskins in the championship game. Washington, which had been beaten 73–0 in the 1940 title game, got a measure of revenge in spoiling the Bears' hope for a perfect season, winning 14–6.

Major rule changes

  • The use of flags on flexible shafts to mark the intersections of goal lines and side lines (the predecessor to the pylon) becomes mandatory.
  • A clarification to the offsides rule is added: The center or snapper is not offsides unless a portion of his body is ahead of the defensive team's line.
  • A half cannot end on a double foul. Instead, the period will be extended by one untimed down.
  • Detachable kicking toes are prohibited.
  • When an encroachment or false start causes the other team to be offsides, only the initial foul is penalized.
  • A forward pass that first touches an ineligible receiver may be intercepted.
  • If the offensive team commits pass interference in their opponent's end zone, it is an automatic touchback.

Final standings

W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT= Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against

Note: The NFL did not officially count tie games in the standings until 1972

Eastern Division
Washington Redskins 10 1 0 .909 227 102
Pittsburgh Steelers 7 4 0 .636 167 119
New York Giants 5 5 1 .500 155 139
Brooklyn Dodgers 3 8 0 .273 100 168
Philadelphia Eagles 2 9 0 .182 134 239
Western Division
Chicago Bears 11 0 0 1.000 376 84
Green Bay Packers 8 2 1 .800 300 215
Cleveland Rams 5 6 0 .455 150 207
Chicago Cardinals 3 8 0 .273 98 209
Detroit Lions 0 11 0 .000 38 263

NFL Championship Game

Washington 14, Chi. Bears 6, at Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C., December 13, 1942


Joe F. Carr Trophy (Most Valuable Player)   Don Hutson, Wide receiver, Green Bay

League leaders

Statistic Name Team Yards
Passing Cecil Isbell Green Bay 2021
Rushing Bill Dudley Pittsburgh 696
Receiving Don Hutson Green Bay 1211


The 1942 NFL Draft was held on December 22, 1941 at Chicago's Palmer House Hotel. With the first pick, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected runningback Bill Dudley from the University of Virginia.


Eastern Division

Western Division


  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1941–1950 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
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