|1946 Chicago Rockets season|
|Head coach||Dick Hanley, Pat Boland, Bob Dove, Ned Mathews, and Willie Wilkin|
|Home field||Soldier Field|
|Division place||4th AAFC West|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
The 1946 Chicago Rockets season was the inaugural season for both the Chicago Rockets and the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) in which they played. The Rockets compiled a 5-6-3 record, were outscored by a total of 315 to 263, and finished in last place in the AAFC's West Division.
Dick Hanley, who had been the head coach at Northwestern from 1927 to 1934, was the head coach at the start of the season. After the first three games, the players voted 32-to-1 to remove Hanley. The team felt that Hanley's double-wing system was outdated. After a two-hour meeting between the players and team owner John L. Keeshin, Keeshin fired Hanley. Three of the players (Ned Mathews, Bob Dove, and Willie Wilkin) took over as player-coaches. The "self-coached experiment" ended on October 29 when Pat Boland was hired as head coach.
The team's statistical leaders included quarterback Bob Hoernschemeyer with 1,266 passing yards and 375 rushing yards, halfback Elroy Hirsch with 347 receiving yards, and backup quarterback (and placekicker) Steve Nemeth with 59 points scored (32 extra points, 9 field goals). Hoernschemeyer was the only Chicago player named to the All-AAFC team, receiving second-team honors from both the United Press and on the official All-AAFC team.
|2||September 13||Cleveland Browns||L 6–20||0–1||Soldier Field||Recap|
|3||September 20||New York Yankees||T 17–17||0–1–1||Soldier Field||Recap|
|3||September 25||Buffalo Bisons||W 38–35||1–1–1||Soldier Field||Recap|
|4||September 29||San Francisco 49ers||W 24–7||2–1–1||Soldier Field||Recap|
|5||October 5||Los Angeles Dons||L 9–21||2–2–1||Soldier Field||Recap|
|6||October 11||at Brooklyn Dodgers||T 21–21||2–2–2||Ebbets Field||Recap|
|7||October 18||Miami Seahawks||W 28–7||3–2–2||Soldier Field||Recap|
|8||October 27||at Buffalo Bisons||L 17–49||3–3–2||Civic Stadium||Recap|
|9||November 2||Brooklyn Dodgers||L 14–21||3–4–2||Soldier Field||Recap|
|10||November 11||at Miami Seahawks||W 20–7||4–4–2||Burdine Stadium||Recap|
|11||November 17||at Cleveland Browns||L 14–51||4–5–2||Cleveland Municipal Stadium||Recap|
|12||November 24||at New York Yankees||W 38–28||5–5–2||Yankee Stadium||Recap|
|13||November 30||at San Francisco 49ers||L 0–14||5–6–2||Kezar Stadium||Recap|
|15||December 15||at Los Angeles Dons||T 17–17||5–6–3||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||Recap|
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.
|San Francisco 49ers||9||5||0||.643||307||189||W-3|
|Los Angeles Dons||7||5||2||.583||305||290||T-1|
Players shown in bold started at least one game at the position listed as confirmed by contemporary game coverage.
|Buffalo Bisons 1946 roster|
- "1946 Chicago Rockets Statistics and Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 4, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "A New Twist: Rockets Now Self Coached". Chicago Tribune. September 27, 1946. p. II-1 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Boland Named Head Coach of Rocket Eleven". Chicago Tribune. October 30, 1946. p. III-1 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Jungmichael Named On All-AAFC Second". The Miami News. December 16, 1946. p. 4B – via Newspapers.com.
- "All-Star Pro Eleven Named". Baltimore Sun. January 5, 1947. p. Sports 2 – via Newspapers.com.