Aug 192013

It’s hard to imagine now, but during the NFL’s early years it wasn’t all that uncommon for a league team to be defeated by a non-league opponent.

The Green Bay Packers were the NFL’s last team to fall victim to a non-league opponent not from another major pro league. In 1963, the College All-Stars defeated the Packers 20-17 in the Chicago College All-Star Game. It was the Packers’ first exhibition loss since the 1959 preseason.

In 1961, the AFL’s Buffalo Bills lost 38-21 to the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, making the Bills the last major pro team to have lost to a team from a non-major professional football league.

Listed below are all of the games in which a team from a major professional football league (NFL, AAFC, AFL) lost to a non-league opponent not from another major pro league (NFL vs. AFL exhibitions not listed).

NFL, AAFC, & AFL Teams That Lost to Non-League Opponents

RS = Regular season game. With exception to the marked games in 1920, all of the games listed below were exhibitions.

Columns can be sorted by clicking on the titles in the header.

SeasonDateNon-League WinnerLeague LoserScoreMarginLocation
192010/17/1920RSFort Wayne (IN) Friarsvs.Columbus Panhandles (NFL)14-014 pointsFort Wayne, IN
192011/14/1920RSAll-Tonawanda (NY)atRochester Jeffersons (NFL)6-06 pointsRochester, NY
192011/14/1920RSGary (IN) Elksvs.Hammond Pros (NFL)7-61 pointGary, IN
192011/25/1920RSAll-Tonawanda (NY)atRochester Jeffersons (NFL)14-311 pointsRochester, NY
192011/25/1920RSChicago (IL) Boostersvs.Hammond Pros (NFL)27-027 pointsChicago, IL
192011/28/1920Youngstown (OH) Patriciansvs.Columbus Panhandles (NFL)2-02 pointsYoungstown, OH
192012/11/1920RSUnion A.A. (Phoenixville, PA)nCanton Bulldogs (NFL)13-76 pointsPhiladelphia, PA
192110/23/1921Bridgeport (CT) Prosvs.New York Brickley Giants (NFL)7-07 pointsBridgeport, CT
192110/23/1921Camp Knox (KY) ArtilleryatLouisville Brecks (NFL)19-019 pointsLouisville, KY
192110/23/1921Holmesburg (MD) A.C.atWashington Senators (NFL)10-010 pointsWashington, DC
192111/11/1921Duluth (MN) Knights of Columbusvs.Minneapolis Marines (NFL)14-014 pointsDuluth, MN
192111/11/1921Richmond (VA) A.C.vs.Washington Senators (NFL)7-07 pointsRichmond, VA
192111/20/1921Camp Knox (KY) ArtilleryatLouisville Brecks (NFL)13-013 pointsLouisville, KY
192111/24/1921Gary (IN) Elksvs.Hammond Pros (NFL)7-07 pointsGary, IN
192112/4/1921Olson's All-Stars (IA)nMinneapolis Marines (NFL)10-010 pointsSioux City, IA
192112/10/1921Baltimore (MD) Prosvs.Washington Senators (NFL)10-37 pointsBaltimore, MD
192112/17/1921Philadelphia (PA) Quakersvs.Canton Bulldogs (NFL)34-034 pointsPhiladelphia, PA
192112/17/1921Richmond (VA) A.C.vs.Washington Senators (NFL)41-041 pointsRichmond, VA
192112/26/1921Chicago (IL) Morris Supremesvs.Hammond Pros (NFL)42-042 pointsChicago, IL
19229/24/1922Duluth (MN) Kelleysvs.Green Bay Packers (NFL)6-24 pointsDuluth, MN
192210/8/1922Owensboro (KY) Puncture ProofsatLouisville Brecks (NFL)7-07 pointsLouisville, KY
192211/19/1922Gary (IN) Elksvs.Hammond Pros (NFL)9-63 pointsGary, IN
192211/25/1922Frankford (Phil., PA) Yellow Jacketsvs.Rochester Jeffersons (NFL)20-713 pointsPhiladelphia, PA
192212/2/1922Frankford (Phil., PA) Yellow Jacketsvs.Akron Pros (NFL)6-33 pointsPhiladelphia, PA
192212/2/1922Lansing (MI) Durantsvs.Oorang Indians (NFL)29-029 pointsLansing, MI
192212/9/1922Baltimore (MD) Prosvs.Oorang Indians (NFL)7-07 pointsBaltimore, MD
192212/16/1922Frankford (Phil., PA) Yellow Jacketsvs.Toledo Maroons (NFL)12-012 pointsPhiladelphia, PA
192310/28/1923Dayton (OH) KoorsatLouisville Brecks (NFL)9-09 pointsLouisville, KY
192311/17/1923Frankford (Phil., PA) Yellow Jacketsvs.Rochester Jeffersons (NFL)33-033 pointsPhiladelphia, PA
192311/18/1923Wilkes-Barre (PA) Panthersvs.Rochester Jeffersons (NFL)10-37 pointsLarksville, PA
192312/1/1923Frankford (Phil., PA) Yellow Jacketsvs.Akron Pros (NFL)10-010 pointsPhiladelphia, PA
192312/2/1923Benld (IL) Independentsvs.St. Louis All-Stars (NFL)9-72 pointsBenld, IL
192312/8/1923Frankford (Phil., PA) Yellow Jacketsvs.Buffalo All-Americans (NFL)10-64 pointsPhiladelphia, PA
192410/12/1924Ironton (OH) Tanksvs.Louisville Brecks (NFL)41-041 pointsIronton, OH
192410/26/1924Indianapolis (IN) Ferndalesvs.Louisville Brecks (NFL)21-021 pointsIndianapolis, IN
192411/9/1924Providence (RI) Steam Rollervs.Rochester Jeffersons (NFL)3-03 pointsProvidence, RI
192411/16/1924Providence (RI) Steam Rollervs.Minneapolis Marines (NFL)49-049 pointsProvidence, RI
192411/30/1924Providence (RI) Steam Rollervs.Dayton Triangles (NFL)10-73 pointsProvidence, RI
19259/20/1925Toronto (OH) Tigersvs.Cleveland Bulldogs (NFL)6-06 pointsToronto, OH
192510/4/1925Toronto (OH) Tigersvs.Hammond Pros (NFL)7-07 pointsToronto, OH
192510/18/1925Toronto (OH) Tigersvs.Milwaukee Badgers (NFL)13-76 pointsToronto, OH
192510/18/1925Waterbury (CT) Bluesvs.Rochester Jeffersons (NFL)7-61 pointWaterbury, CT
192511/3/1925Orange (NJ) Gold. Tornadoesvs.Rochester Jeffersons (NFL)21-021 pointsEast Orange, NJ
192511/8/1925Hartford (CT) Bluesvs.Rochester Jeffersons (NFL)8-62 pointsHartford, CT
192511/29/1925Atlantic City (NJ) Blue Tornadoesvs.Rochester Jeffersons (NFL)7-61 pointAtlantic City, NJ
192512/6/1925Atlantic City (NJ) Blue Tornadoesvs.Rochester Jeffersons (NFL)6-06 pointsAtlantic City, NJ
192512/10/1925Pittsburgh (PA) All-Starsvs.Chicago Bears (NFL)24-024 pointsPittsburgh, PA
192512/13/1925Brownsville (PA) Independentsvs.Canton Bulldogs (NFL)6-06 pointsWest Brownsville, PA
19251/1/1926Tim Callahan's All-StarsnNew York Giants (NFL)13-310 pointsWest Palm Beach, FL
19251/16/1926Tim Callahan's All-StarsnNew York Giants (NFL)14-131 pointCoral Gables, FL
19251/24/1926San Francisco (CA) Tigersvs.Chicago Bears (NFL)14-95 pointsSan Francisco, CA
192610/31/1926Ashland (KY) Armco Yellowjacketsvs.Columbus Tigers (NFL)20-020 pointsAshland, KY
192611/14/1926Cleveland (OH) Bulldogsvs.Columbus Tigers (NFL)6-06 pointsCleveland, OH
192612/20/1926Hominy (OK) Indiansvs.Buffalo Rangers (NFL)6-06 pointsPawhuska, OK
192612/25/1926Hollywood (CA) Generals (PCFL)vs.Duluth Eskimos (NFL)6-33 pointsLos Angeles, CA
192612/26/1926California All-Starsvs.Duluth Eskimos (NFL)9-72 pointsEmeryville, CA
19261/23/1927Wilson's WildcatsnLos Angeles Buccaneers (NFL)17-017 pointsSan Francisco, CA
19261/30/1927New York Yankees (AFL '26)atLos Angeles Bulldogs (NFL)14-014 pointsLos Angeles, CA
19279/18/1927Hammond (IN) BoostersatChicago Cardinals (NFL)6-06 pointsChicago, IL
192711/27/1927Staten Island (NY) Stapletonsvs.Duluth Eskimos (NFL)7-61 pointNew York, NY
192712/26/1927Hominy (OK) Indiansvs.New York Giants (NFL)13-67 pointsPawhuska, OK
19271/1/1928Wilson's WildcatsnNew York Yankees (NFL)6-06 pointsSan Francisco, CA
19271/8/1928Wilson's WildcatsnNew York Yankees (NFL)7-07 pointsLos Angeles, CA
19289/30/1928Chicago (IL) MillsatChicago Cardinals (NFL)7-61 pointChicago, IL
19289/30/1928Staten Island (NY) Stapletonsvs.Dayton Triangles (NFL)7-34 pointsNew York, NY
192810/21/1928Canton (OH) Rogers Jewelersvs.Pottsville Maroons (NFL)18-612 pointsCanton, OH
192811/18/1928Cincinnati (OH) National Guardsvs.Dayton Triangles (NFL)13-013 pointsCincinnati, OH
192811/25/1928Middletown (OH) Armco Bluesvs.Dayton Triangles (NFL)9-09 pointsMiddletown, OH
192811/29/1928Staten Island (NY) Stapletonsvs.New York Giants (NFL)7-07 pointsNew York, NY
192812/2/1928Staten Island (NY) Stapletonsvs.Pottsville Maroons (NFL)15-69 pointsNew York, NY
19299/22/1929Canton (OH) Bulldogsvs.Chicago Cardinals (NFL)6-06 pointsCanton, OH
192912/15/1929Memphis (TN) Tigersvs.Green Bay Packers (NFL)16-610 pointsMemphis, TN
192912/22/1929Memphis (TN) Tigersvs.Chicago Bears (NFL)16-610 pointsMemphis, TN
193010/15/1930Ironton (OH) TanksatPortsmouth Spartans (NFL)16-151 pointPortsmouth, OH
193010/19/1930Memphis (TN) Tigersvs.Portsmouth Spartans (NFL)20-614 pointsMemphis, TN
193011/11/1930Ironton (OH) TanksnNew York Giants (NFL)13-121 pointCincinnati, OH
193011/23/1930Ironton (OH) TanksnChicago Bears (NFL)26-1313 pointsCincinnati, OH
193110/25/1931Pere Marquette (Boston, MA)vs.Cleveland Indians (NFL)21-714 pointsBoston, MA
19329/25/1932Providence (RI) Steam Rollervs.Boston Braves (NFL)9-63 pointsProvidence, RI
19321/22/1933Nevers' All-StarsnGreen Bay Packers (NFL)13-67 pointsSan Francisco, CA
193310/8/1933Staten Island (NY) Stapletonsvs.Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)7-07 pointsNew York, NY
193311/15/1933St. Louis (MO) Gunnersvs.Brooklyn Dodgers (NFL)21-219 pointsSt. Louis, MO
193311/30/1933Providence (RI) Huskiesvs.Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)7-07 pointsSpringfield, MA
19349/9/1934Pinckert's PanthersnBoston Redskins (NFL)7-61 pointSomerville, MA
19349/16/1934Louisville (KY) Bourbons (AFL '34)vs.Cincinnati Reds (NFL)9-72 pointsLouisville, KY
193410/31/1934St. Louis (MO) Blues (AFL '34)vs.Cincinnati Reds (NFL)35-728 pointsSt. Louis, MO
19342/3/1935Pacific Coast All-StarsnNew York Giants (NFL)9-09 pointsPortland, OR
19369/7/1936Texas Centennial All-Starsvs.Chicago Bears (NFL)7-61 pointDallas, TX
193611/15/1936Los Angeles (CA) Bulldogsvs.Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)10-73 pointsLos Angeles, CA
193611/21/1936Los Angeles (CA) Bulldogsvs.Pittsburgh Pirates (NFL)28-721 pointsLos Angeles, CA
193612/13/1936Los Angeles (CA) Bulldogsvs.Chicago Cardinals (NFL)13-103 pointsLos Angeles, CA
19379/1/1937College All-StarsnGreen Bay Packers (NFL)6-06 pointsChicago, IL
19379/6/1937Pan American (TX) All-Americansvs.Chicago Bears (NFL)6-06 pointsDallas, TX
19388/31/1938College All-StarsnWashington Redskins (NFL)28-1612 pointsChicago, IL
19389/1/1938Danbury (CT) Trojans (AA)vs.Brooklyn Dodgers (NFL)13-013 pointsDanbury, CT
19389/5/1938'38 College All-StarsnWashington Redskins (NFL)13-76 pointsDallas, TX
19389/25/1938Cincinnati (OH) Bengalsvs.Chicago Bears (NFL)17-134 pointsCincinnati, OH
193810/11/1938Cincinnati (OH) Bengalsvs.Pittsburgh Pirates (NFL)27-027 pointsCincinnati, OH
193811/11/1938Los Angeles (CA) BulldogsnPittsburgh Pirates (NFL)17-611 pointsColorado Springs, CO
193811/20/1938Los Angeles (CA) Bulldogsvs.Cleveland Rams (NFL)28-721 pointsLos Angeles, CA
19409/4/1940Eastern College All-StarsatNew York Giants (NFL)16-79 pointsNew York, NY
194010/30/1940Wilmington (DE) Clippers (AA)vs.Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)16-142 pointsWilmington, DE
19429/6/1942Western Army All-StarsnChicago Cardinals (NFL)16-106 pointsDenver, CO
19429/9/1942Western Army All-StarsatDetroit Lions (NFL)12-012 pointsDetroit, MI
19429/12/1942Eastern Army All-StarsatNew York Giants (NFL)16-016 pointsNew York, NY
19429/16/1942Eastern Army All-StarsnBrooklyn Dodgers (NFL)13-76 pointsBaltimore, MD
19438/24/1943College All-StarsnWashington Redskins (NFL)27-720 pointsEvanston, IL
19449/10/1944Fort Warren (WY) Broncosvs.Brooklyn Tigers (NFL)21-201 pointCheyenne, WY
19468/23/1946College All-StarsnLos Angeles Rams (NFL)16-016 pointsChicago, IL
19478/22/1947College All-StarsnChicago Bears (NFL)16-016 pointsChicago, IL
19499/1/1949Eastern College All-StarsatNew York Giants (NFL)28-1315 pointsNew York, NY
194912/17/1949AAFC All-StarsnCleveland Browns (AAFC)12-75 pointsHouston, TX
19508/11/1950College All-StarsnPhiladelphia Eagles (NFL)17-710 pointsChicago, IL
19558/12/1955College All-StarsnCleveland Browns (NFL)30-273 pointsChicago, IL
19588/15/1958College All-StarsnDetroit Lions (NFL)35-1916 pointsChicago, IL
19618/8/1961Hamilton (ON) Tiger-Cats (CFL)vs.Buffalo Bills (AFL)38-2117 pointsHamilton, ON
19638/2/1963College All-StarsnGreen Bay Packers (NFL)20-173 pointsChicago, IL


¹ There is a claim that the Hominy Indians defeated the NFL champion New York Giants in 1927. I’ve yet to find a newspaper article  (from 1927) that states this game was against the actual New York Giants. However, I’ll need more information before I can dismiss this game.


Additional Info

  • The now defunct Rochester Jeffersons lost a record 11 games to non-league opponents. The Chicago Bears and New York Giants have each lost a confirmed eight games to non-NFL/AFL teams.
  • Before they joined the NFL in 1924, the Frankford Yellow Jackets defeated NFL opponents six times. It’s the most games a non-league team (w/o an all-star roster) won against NFL opponents. Followed by the Los Angeles Bulldogs (five wins) and the Staten Island Stapletons (five wins).
  • On seven occasions non-league teams won three games in the same season against NFL opponents. Accomplished by: Frankford Yellow Jackets (1922 & 1923), Ironton Tanks (1930), Los Angeles Bulldogs (1936), Providence Steam Roller (1924), Staten Island Stapletons (1928), and the Toronto Tigers (1925).


Sources: The Pro Football Archives, and


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