The 1936 NFL season was the 17th regular season of the National Football League. For the first time since the league was founded, there were no team transactions; neither a club folded nor did a new one join the NFL. 1936 was also the first year in which all league teams played the same number of games. Since this season, the number of regular season games per team has been:
- 11 until 1942 and in 1946
- 10 from 1943 to 1945
- 12 from 1947 to 1960
- 14 from 1961 to 1977
- 16 since 1978
The season ended when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Boston Redskins in the NFL Championship Game. For the only time in NFL history, the team with the home field advantage declined to play at their own stadium and instead elected to play at a neutral site. Due to poor attendance, the Redskins moved the game from Boston to the Polo Grounds in New York City.
In the Western Division, the Bears reached 6–0–0 and the Packers 5–1–0 midway through the 12 game season, the Packers only loss having been 30–3 to Chicago. On November 1, Green Bay beat the Bears 21–10 to give both teams a 6–1–0 record. Both teams continued to win, and both were 9–1–0 as Thanksgiving approached. The Bears lost their last two games, while Green Bay lost neither, putting the Packers into the title game. In the Eastern Division, the Pittsburgh Pirates were at 6–5–0, and the Boston Redskins at 5–5–0, when they met on November 29 in Boston before a crowd of only 7,000. The Pirates lost, 30–0, falling to 6–6–0, and could only hope that 6–5–0 Boston would do the same in their last game; instead, the Redskins won at New York, 14–0 before 18,000. Since the Eastern winner had the right to host the '36 title game, George Preston Marshall spurned Boston to play the championship game at New York as well, where 29,545 turned out. Marshall would move the Redskins to Washington for 1937.
Major rule changes
- A draft shall be held to assign all new players entering the league for the first time to teams in an arbitrary and equitable manner.
- The penalty for an illegal forward pass that is thrown beyond the line of scrimmage is five yards from the spot of the foul.
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
Green Bay 21, Boston 6, at Polo Grounds, New York City, December 13, 1936