American Football Database
American Football Database

The 1933 NFL season was the 14th regular season of the National Football League. Because of the success of the 1932 NFL Playoff Game, the league divided its teams into two divisions for the first time, with the winners of each division playing in a championship game to determine the NFL champion. Three new teams also joined the league: the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Cincinnati Reds. Also, the Boston Braves changed its name to Boston Redskins and Staten Island Stapletons resigned.

1933 National Football League season
Regular season
Duration September 17, 1933 - December 10, 1933
East Champions New York Giants
West Champions Chicago Bears
Championship Game
Champions Chicago Bears
National Football League seasons
 < 1932 1934 > 

The season ended when the Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants in the first ever NFL Championship Game.

Major rule changes

Also due to the success of the 1932 NFL Playoff Game, the league stopped using the rules of College football and started to develop its own revisions:

  • The forward pass is legal anywhere behind the line of scrimmage. Previously, the passer had to be at least five yards back from the scrimmage line. This change is referred to as the "Bronko Nagurski Rule" after his controversial touchdown in the 1932 NFL Playoff Game.
  • Hashmarks or inbounds lines are added to the field 10 yards in from each sideline. All plays would start with the ball on or between the hashmarks.
  • To increase the number of field goals and decrease the number of tie games, the goal posts are moved from the end lines at the back of the end zones to the goal lines.
  • It is a touchback when a punt hits the opponent's goal posts before being touched by a player of either team.
  • It is a safety if a ball that is kicked behind the goal line hits the goal posts, and rolls back out of the end zone or is recovered by the kicking team.

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
New York Giants 11 3 0 .786 244 101
Brooklyn Dodgers 5 4 1 .556 93 54
Boston Redskins 5 5 2 .500 103 97
Philadelphia Eagles 3 5 1 .375 77 158
Pittsburgh Pirates 3 6 2 .333 67 208
Western Division
Chicago Bears 10 2 1 .833 133 82
Portsmouth Spartans 6 5 0 .545 128 87
Green Bay Packers 5 7 1 .417 170 107
Cincinnati Reds 3 6 1 .333 38 110
Chicago Cardinals 1 9 1 .100 52 101

NFL Championship Game

home o games
December 17, 1933 - Wrigley Field
 Chicago Bears  23
 New York Giants  21

League leaders

Statistic Name Team Yards
Passing Harry Newman New York 973
Rushing Jim Musick Boston 809
Receiving Shipwreck Kelly Brooklyn 246


1933 NFL Seasonv · d · e
Eastern Division Western Division
Boston Chicago Bears
Brooklyn Chicago Cardinals
New York Cincinnati
Philadelphia Green Bay
Pittsburgh Portsmouth
NFL Championship