Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Sep 2012

Defending Champs That Lost in Week 1

The Giants are the first NFL defending champion to lose in Week 1 since the 1999 Denver Broncos. Curious about other defending champions that lost their first game? This article has all the facts.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 06 Sep 2012

7 comments, Last at 09 Sep 2012, 11:21am by Lance


by ebongreen :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 2:03pm

Smells like small-sample-size theater to me. Interesting, but hardly indicative.

by Guido Merkens :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 2:08pm

Only the 1955 Cleveland Browns and the 1993 Dallas Cowboys repeated as champs after losing their first game. The Giants are screwed.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 4:07pm

The 1967 Packers tied their first game.

by Andrew McKillop (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 6:29pm

The 1949 Cleveland Browns, defending AAFC champions, also tied their first game, 28-28 against the Buffalo Bills. The Lions tie of the Packers was more impressive though.

by KBee (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 4:20pm

Pretty sure the 1925 champions were the Chicago Cardinals - it would have been the Pottsville Maroons had they not had the title taken from them by the NFL.

by Andrew McKillop (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 6:24pm

Your right, the Cardinals did win the 1925 NFL Championship, but remember these are the defending champions. The Cleveland Bulldogs won the title in 1924.

by Lance :: Sun, 09/09/2012 - 11:21am

The 1993 Cowboys loss was tainted somewhat by the fact that the Emmitt Smith (who would go on to be NFL MVP that year) was holding out. Dallas started 0-2 that season before Jerry Jones finally paid up, and the team went 10-2 for the rest of the season and won their second Super Bowl of the decade.