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1957: Another attendance record

The 1956 season was one the Los Angeles Rams wanted to forget. As a result, the team made a few personnel and uniform changes for the 1957 season.

Former Rams’ publicist Pete Rozelle was named the team’s new general manager. He eventually became the most successful commissioner in league history. Meanwhile, the new home uniforms featured yellow-gold coloration on the sleeves and numbers. Numbers were also present high up on the arm. Finally, there was a thin white trim around the chest numbers, a characteristic that was unusual at the time.

Judging by the record books, the Rams slightly improved from last season, but their mark doesn’t tell the entire story. The Rams finished fourth in the NFL West Division with a record of 6-6. The division leaders, Detroit Lions, finished with a record of 8-4. The Rams lost four games by eight points or less, all of which were from opponents within the same division.

One of those close games took place in Week 2 when the Rams faced the 49ers in San Francisco. It was a closely contested game, but 49ers QB Y.A. Tittle connected with HB/TE R.C. Owens a second time in the end zone to win the game, 23-20.

The following week, the Rams traveled to Detroit to face the Lions. It was an all-around defensive game as both teams were left scoreless in the first-half. The two clubs combined for less than 450 total yards (241 yards for Rams, 208 yards for Lions). In the end, it was the Rams’ turnover problems that cost them the game. The Lions won 10-7 after picking the Rams six times.

The remaining two close games came against the Chicago Bears. The Rams lost control of the game in Chicago and had to fight back to reach a final score of 34-26. When the Bears made the return trip to Los Angeles, their defense shut down the Rams’ offense from scoring after the first quarter. Bears kicker George Blanda was the MVP of the game, kicking three straight field goals to give Chicago the 16-10 victory.

The 1957 Rams also had their fair share of successes, but none more than their home game against the hated 49ers. On November 10, 1957, the Rams beat the 49ers 37-24 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in front of a crowd of 102,368, which set the NFL record for highest attendance. That record still stands today.

The Rams sent multiple players to the Pro Bowl, including RB Tommy Wilson, HB/KR “Jaguar” Jon Arnett, OG Duane Putnam, LB Les Richter and LB Dick Daugherty.

QB Norm Van Brocklin didn’t make the Pro Bowl roster, but he still had a decent season. He passed for a total of 2,105 yards and 20 touchdowns. However, he did throw a league-leading 21 interceptions.

KR Jon Arnett led the league in kick return average, including a 98-yard return for a touchdown.

Season Notes

– The Rams led the league in points scored with 307 points.

– The 1957 NFL Draft was one of the best drafts in Rams history featuring six key players:  HB Jon Arnett, USC (first round; second overall), WR Del Shofner, Baylor University (first round; 11th overall part of the Andy Robustelli trade to the New York Giants), LB Jack Pardee, Texas A&M (second round; 14th overall), DE Lamar Lundy, Purdue University (fourth round; 47th overall), T Charlie Bradshaw, Baylor University (eighth round; 94th overall) and WR Jimmy Orr, Georgia University (25th round; 291st overall).

1957 Los Angeles Rams
Week Date Opponent Score Record
1 Sunday, Sept. 29 Philadelphia Eagles W, 17-13 1-0
2 Sunday, Oct. 6 @San Francisco 49ers L, 20-23 1-1
3 Sunday, Oct. 13 @Detroit Lions L, 7-10 1-2
4 Sunday, Oct. 20 @Chicago Bears L, 26-34 1-3
5 Sunday, Oct. 27 Detroit Lions W, 35-17 2-3
6 Sunday, Nov. 3 Chicago Bears L, 10-16 2-4
7 Sunday, Nov. 10 San Francisco 49ers W, 37-24 3-4
8 Sunday, Nov. 17 @Green Bay Packers W, 31-27 4-4
9 Sunday, Nov. 24 @Cleveland Browns L, 31-45 4-5
10 Sunday, Dec. 1 @Baltimore Colts L, 14-31 4-6
11 Sunday, Dec. 8 Green Bay Packers W, 42-17 5-6
12 Sunday, Dec. 15 Baltimore Colts W, 37-21 6-6

You can follow Johnny Gomez on Twitter @Johnny5not6. Be sure to follow Rams Talk on Twitter @TalkRams.

Sources: Profootballreference.comStlouisrams.com


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