1925: Following the failure of the Detroit Heralds and Detroit Tigers in the first two seasons of the APFA, the motor city would get another NFL team in 1925 when Quarterback Jimmy Conzelman formed the Detroit Panthers. Like the Heralds/Tigers the Panthers played at Navin Field home of baseball’s Detroit Tigers. The Panthers started strong beating the Columbus Tigers 7-0 on September 27th. The Panthers played well early in the season led by Conzelman who was the top passer in the league, along with a strong defense as they went unbeaten in their first eight games, with six wins along with scoreless ties against the Chicago Bears and Akron Pros. The Panthers even won the first Wednesday Game in NFL history, beating the Cleveland Bulldogs 22-13 on Veteran’s Day at Navin Field. The Panthers remained at the top of the NFL standings despite 14-0 loss to the Chicago Bears, as they rebounded to beat the Rochester Jeffersons a week later 20-0. However, any hopes of winning the NFL Championship would vanish with a 6-3 home loss to the lowly Rock Island Independents on Thanksgiving. The Panthers would play just one more game, beating the Bears at Navin Field 21-0 on December 12th to finish the season with a record of 8-2-2 good enough for third place behind the Chicago Cardinals and Pottsville Maroons who finished on top with each claiming the championship.
1926: Looking to build off a tremendous first season, the Panthers started the season on the wrong foot, losing 21-0 to the Green Bay Packers. The Panthers would also lose games to the Milwaukee Badgers and Chicago Bears, before finally beating the Kansas City Cowboys 10-0 in the fourth game of the season. The Panthers would also win their next three games, without allowing a point to get back over .500 at 4-3. The Panthers would also shutout their next two opponents, but failed to score themselves and were stuck in the middle of the standings at 4-3-2. Playing on Thanksgiving the Panthers would appear to be in a Turkey coma again, as they were beaten by the Los Angeles Buccaneers 9-6. The Panthers would play three straight days of Thanksgiving weekend, losing all three including a season ending 7-0 loss to the Packers at Navin Field on November 28th. That game would also be the final game for the Detroit Panthers who posted a record of 4-6-2 and ceased operations as Jimmy Conzelman left the team to sign with the Providence Steam Roller. After the Panthers folded, Detroit got a new team in 1928 called the Wolverines that played just one season before Detroit got a permanant team with the Detroit Lions in 1934.
©MMXV Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Football League. This site is not affiliated with the Detroit Panthers or the NFL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on February 24, 2015. Last updated on February 24, 2015 at 9:55 pm ET.