1933 Chicago Bears season
|1933 Chicago Bears season|
|Head coach||George Halas|
|General manager||George Halas|
|Home field||Wrigley Field|
|Division place||1st NFL West|
|Playoff finish||NFL champions|
The 1933 Chicago Bears season was their 14th regular season and 2nd postseason completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 10–2–1 record in the first year of George Halas's second tenure.
The Bears won their first six games while allowing only 33 points. In the middle of the season, the team struggled on the road, losing to Boston and New York and eking out a tie against the new Philadelphia Eagles franchise. After that, however, the Bears regained their winning ways, finishing the regular season with four consecutive wins, including two against Portsmouth, their foe in the indoor 1932 playoff game. The team won the newly established Western Division by 3½ games and hosted the first ever NFL championship game on a hot streak.
The Bears' season was typified by solid defense, a high-octane passing attack (for the era), and the best kicking game in the league. Only three times during the season did opponents score more than 9 points on the Bears. The club finished second behind Brooklyn in scoring defense. Their line was greatly improved by the addition of huge George "Moose" Musso, who weighted over 260 pounds and starred for the Bears for many years. The Bears had the third best scoring offense, trailing the explosive Giants and the Packers. Living legend Red Grange and future legend Bronko Nagurski continued to lead the running attack but the Bears scored a large majority of their touchdowns through the air. Luke Johnsos continued to play well at end but the aerial attack was vastly improved by the emergence of second year end Bill Hewitt and rookie end Bill Karr. All in all, the Bears scored 11 of their 14 offensive touchdowns through passes. Though statistics were spotty in 1933, Bill Hewitt was among the league leaders in receiving with 16 catches for 274 yards and 2 touchdowns. The biggest improvement for the Bears and, in many games, the key to their wins was the addition of "Automatic" Jack Manders, one of the first great place kickers in league history. Manders made 14 of 14 PATs (pretty much unheard of in those days) and led the league with 6 field goals. Undoubtedly, the new rule that brought the ball back to the hash marks after every play helped Manders (and all other NFL kickers), but Manders' consistency in the kicking game contributed to the Bears' success all the way through the 1940 season.
|1||September 17||Bye Week|
|2||September 24||at Green Bay Packers †||14–7||1–0–0||East Stadium|
|3||October 1||Boston Redskins #||7–0||2–0–0||Soldier Field|
|4||October 8||at Brooklyn Dodgers #||10–0||3–0–0||Ebbets Field|
|5||October 15||Chicago Cardinals †||12–9||4–0–0||Wrigley Field|
|6||October 22||Green Bay Packers †||10–7||5–0–0||Wrigley Field|
|7||October 29||New York Giants||14–10||6–0–0||Wrigley Field|
|8||November 5||at Boston Redskins #||10–0||6–1–0||Fenway Park|
|9||November 12||at Philadelphia Eagles #||3–3||6–1–1||Baker Bowl|
|10||November 19||at New York Giants #||3–0||6–2–1||Polo Grounds|
|11||November 26||Portsmouth Spartans †||17–14||7–2–1||Wrigley Field|
|12||November 30||Chicago Cardinals †||22–6||8–2–1||Wrigley Field|
|13||December 3||at Portsmouth Spartans †||17–7||9–2–1||Universal Stadium|
|14||December 10||Green Bay Packers †||7–6||10–2–1||Wrigley Field|
|† Intradivisional game; # Interdivisional game.|
|NFL Western Division|
|Green Bay Packers||5||7||1||.417||2–4||170||107||L1|
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
NFL Championship Game
The Bears hosted the NFL Eastern Division champion New York Giants in the NFL championship game. The teams had split the season series, with both teams prevailing at home. The game was played at Wrigley Field in clear, crisp weather. Both teams brought high-powered offenses to the game but the Bears had an advantage on defense. Both teams featured their passing attacks throughout the game but the Giants took a first half lead with a 29-yard pass to Red Badgro despite two Manders field goals. The second half was back and forth, with both clubs taking the lead twice. The game was won with an exciting play with less than 3 minutes remaining—a pass from Bronko Nagurski to Bill Hewitt who lateraled to Bill Karr. Karr then scampered 36 yards for the winning score. The Bears won the game 23–21, giving them their second straight league title and third overall.
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Future Hall of Fame players
- Red Grange, back
- Bill Hewitt, end
- Link Lyman, tackle
- George Musso, tackle (rookie from Millikin)
- Bronko Nagurski, fullback
- George Trafton, center