1933 NFL season

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 their name to the Boston Redskins and the Staten Island Stapletons, while still scheduling games against league teams, left the league.

1933 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 17 – December 10, 1933
East ChampionsNew York Giants
West ChampionsChicago Bears
Championship Game
ChampionsChicago Bears

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

Major rule changesEdit

Due to the success of the 1932 NFL Playoff Game, the league stopped using the exact rules of college football and started to develop its own revisions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 (reversing the change made before the 1927 season); the goal posts were moved back to the end line in 1974, where it has remained.
  4. It is a touchback when a punt hits the opponent's goal posts before being touched by a player of either team.
  5. 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 standingsEdit

NFL Championship GameEdit

NFL Championship
December 17, 1933 – Wrigley Field
Chicago Bears23
New York Giants21

League leadersEdit

Statistic Name Team Yards
Passing Harry Newman New York 973
Rushing Jim Musick Boston 809
Receiving Paul Moss Pittsburgh 283

Coaching changesEdit

Stadium changesEdit

This was also the first season of selected Green Bay Packers home games in Milwaukee, with the Packers hosting one game in 1933 at Borchert Field. The team would then regularly play two or three home games each year in Milwaukee from 1934 to 1994.


  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1931–1940 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)