1927 NFL season

The 1927 NFL season was the eighth regular season of the National Football League. Prior to the season, the league decided to eliminate the financially weaker teams. As a result, the league dropped from 22 to 12 teams. The league absorbed many players and one franchise (the New York Yankees) from the defunct American Football League. Wilfrid Smith in the Chicago Tribune wrote that "the reduction formed a more compact circuit and provided better competition."[1] Smith opined that the "outstanding feature" of the 1927 NFL season was the debut of Benny Friedman who became one of the game's "best drawing cards" and proved that professional football could support itself in Cleveland.[1]

Although five black players participated in the 1926 season (including future Hall of Famer Fritz Pollard), none played during the 1927 season.

The New York Yankees were added from the American Football League (albeit technically as a continuation of the defunct Brooklyn franchise), Cleveland Bulldogs returned and Buffalo Rangers returned to the Buffalo Bisons name. The Bisons suspended operations five games into the season (all losses).

The axed teams were Kansas City Cowboys, Los Angeles Buccaneers, Detroit Panthers, Hartford Blues, Brooklyn Lions, Canton Bulldogs, Milwaukee Badgers, Akron Indians, Racine Tornadoes, Columbus Tigers, Hammond Pros, and Louisville Colonels. The excising of the majority of the Ohio teams left the Dayton Triangles as the last surviving connection to the Ohio League, which served as the basis for the NFL's founding.

The New York Giants were named the NFL champions after finishing the season with the best record. The Giants performance was notable, particularly on defense. They allowed only 20 points in 13 games, including 10 shutout victories.

1927 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 19 – December 19, 1927
ChampionsNew York Giants

Teams and head coaches

The league dropped from 22 teams in 1926 to 12 teams in 1927.

Rejoined the NFL † Merged from 1926 AFL *
Last active season ^ Last season before hiatus, rejoined league later §
Team Head coach(es)
Buffalo Bisons § Dim Batterson
Chicago Bears George Halas
Chicago Cardinals Guy Chamberlain
Cleveland Bulldogs Roy Andrews
Dayton Triangles Lou Mahrt
Duluth Eskimos ^ Ernie Nevers
Frankford Yellow Jackets Charley Moran (8 games), Russ Daugherty, Charley Rogers, Ed Weir and Swede Youngstrom (10 games)
Green Bay Packers Curly Lambeau
New York Giants Earl Potteiger
New York Yankees * Ralph Scott
Pottsville Maroons Dick Rauch
Providence Steam Roller Jimmy Conzelman

Major rule changes

The goal posts were moved to the end line.

Championship race

After seven weeks, the Chicago Bears were unbeaten at 5–0–1, followed by the once-beaten New York Giants (6–1–1) and Green Bay Packers (5–1–1). Two games played in New York City on Tuesday, November 8, changed the standings. The New York Yankees handed the Bears a 26–6 defeat, while the Giants beat Providence, 25–0. At 7–1–1, the Giants were in first place, while the Bears and Packers were tied for second (5–1–1). On November 20, the Bears beat the visiting Packers, 14–6, and, at 7–1–1, were within striking distance of the 8–1–1 Giants. Thanksgiving Day, however, saw the Bears lose at Wrigley Field to their crosstown rivals, the Chicago Cardinals.

With three games left, the most important game of the regular season took place on November 27, at the Polo Grounds, where 15,000 turned out to watch the Bears (7–2–1) face the Giants (8–1–1). A Bears' win would have tied the teams for first place, but the Giants won, 13–7. The New York Giants and New York Yankees closed their seasons with a two-game series. At home at the Polo Grounds, the Giants beat the Yankees 14–0 to clinch the title on December 4, and then beat them again at the old Yankee Stadium on December 11, to finish at 11–1–1.


NFL standings
New York Giants 11 1 1 .917 197 20 W9
Green Bay Packers 7 2 1 .778 113 43 W1
Chicago Bears 9 3 2 .750 149 98 W2
Cleveland Bulldogs 8 4 1 .667 209 107 W5
Providence Steam Roller 8 5 1 .615 105 88 W3
New York Yankees 7 8 1 .467 142 174 L4
Frankford Yellow Jackets 6 9 3 .400 152 166 L1
Pottsville Maroons 5 8 0 .385 80 163 L1
Chicago Cardinals 3 7 1 .300 69 134 L1
Dayton Triangles 1 6 1 .143 15 57 L4
Duluth Eskimos 1 8 0 .111 68 134 L7
Buffalo Bisons 0 5 0 .000 8 123 L5

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.


  1. ^ a b Wilfrid Smith (January 1, 1928). "Pro Football Enjoys Season of Prosperity". Chicago Tribune. p. 16.
  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1921–1930 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
1927 All-Pro Team

The 1927 All-Pro Team consists of American football players chosen by various selectors at the end as the best players at their positions for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1927 NFL season. Selectors for the 1927 season included the Green Bay Press-Gazette poll and the Chicago Tribune.

Dim Batterson

George Wilder "Dim" Batterson (October 3, 1881 – December 3, 1935) was an American football coach for high school, college and professional teams. Batterson's ability to turn out players of All-American ability and knack of moulding Harvard Cup championship eleven at Masten Park high school in Buffalo, New York earned him the distinction of being one of the most astute scholastic coach in western New York state history.

Fritz Cronin

Fritz Cronin played for the Duluth Eskimos of the National Football League.

George Tuttle

George Karl Tuttle (January 14, 1905 – October 20, 1986) was player in the National Football League. He was a member of the Green Bay Packers during the 1927 NFL season.

Gil Skeate

Gilbert T. Skeate (May 19, 1901 – January 30, 1952) was an American football fullback in the National Football League. He played with the Green Bay Packers during the 1927 NFL season. He played college football at Gonzaga University.

Harry Connaughton

Harry Aloysius "Babe" Connaughton (June 6, 1905 – August 11, 1969) was an American football player. He played college football for the Georgetown Hoyas and professional football for the Frankford Yellow Jackets. He was a consensus All-American in 1926.

Connaughton was born in Philadelphia in 1905 and attended Saint Joseph's Preparatory School in that city. He enrolled at Georgetown University and, while there, played at the guard position on the Georgetown Hoyas football team in 1925 and 1926. He was a consensus selection for the 1926 College Football All-America Team. At six feet, four inches, and 250 pounds, he was a large player for his era. He played for Hoyas teams that compiled a 16-3-1 in 1925 and 1926. In December 1926, he was awarded the Veterans Cup as the most valuable player in eastern football. He was inducted into the Georgetown University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1953.Connaughton also played professional football for the Frankford Yellow Jackets during the 1927 NFL season. He started 16 games at the guard position for the 1927 Yellow Jackets.In 1938, he became the assistant to Michael Igoe, the United States Attorney in Chicago. By June 1938, his weight had dropped to 180 pounds from 260 pounds while playing football at Georgetown.Connaughton died in 1969 ate age 64 in Braham, Minnesota.

Larry Marks (American football)

Lawrence Eugene "Larry" Marks (December 20, 1902 – January 19, 1974) was a player in the National Football League.

Los Angeles Wildcats

The Los Angeles Wildcats (also reported in various media as Pacific Coast Wildcats, Los Angeles Wilson Wildcats and Wilson’s Wildcats) was a traveling team of the first American Football League that was not based in its nominal home city but in Chicago, Illinois (it trained in Rock Island). Coached by Jim Clark, the team was designed to be a showcase for University of Washington star back George “Wildcat” Wilson. Compared to most traveling teams in professional football, the Wildcats were successful, compiling a 6–6–2 record in the only season of the team’s – and the league’s – existence.

Mal Bross

Matthew A. "Mal" Bross (December 7, 1903 – February 8, 1989) was a running back in the National Football League.

Mush Crawford

Walter Charles "Mush" Crawford (December 23, 1898 – October 27, 1966) was an American football player and coach. He played professionally as a guard in the National Football League (NFL). Crawford first played with the Chicago Bears during the 1925 NFL season. During the 1927 NFL season he played with the New York Yankees. He also had been a member of the Chicago Bulls of the American Football League during the 1926 American Football League season.

Crawford served as the head football coach at San Jose State University from 1929 to 1931 and at the Stout Institute—now known as the University of Wisconsin–Stout—from 1935 to 1937.

Paul Minick

Paul Daniel Minick (December 17, 1899 – December 22, 1978) was a guard in the National Football League (NFL). He played with the Buffalo Bisons during the 1927 NFL season before playing two seasons with the Green Bay Packers. During his time there he was a member of the 1929 Green Bay Packers that won the NFL Championship.

1927 NFL season
Early era
Modern era

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