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 left the league.
The season ended when the Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants in the first ever NFL Championship Game.
Major rule changes
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:
- 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.
P = Games Played, 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
NFL Championship Game