1898-1919: Formed by a group of Rochester teen agers, the Jeffersons got their name in reference to the locale of their playing field on Jefferson Avenue. For their first decade, the Jeffs played other amateur and semiprofessional teams in Western New York. By 1917 the Jeffersons began looking beyond New York, as they played the Canton Bulldogs; despite getting drummed 41-0 the game earned the Jeffs some notoriety and respect. Which would help them get a invited to be one of the charter franchises in the American Professional Football Association.
1920: Joining the APFA would turn out to be a hard decision for the Rochester Jeffersons as they felt loyal to the sandlot teams in Western New York. Their fans also preferred the sandlot local teams as attendance as they drew ten times as many fans against semi-pro teams from New York, than teams from the APFA. In their first year in the APFA, the Jeffersons played just one league game losing to the Buffalo All-Americans 17-6 on October 31st. The remainder of the season the Jeffersons won six games, posting an overall record of 6-3-2.
1921: The Jeffersons would post a greater presence in their second season, playing five league games, and winning games against the Tonawanda Kardex and Columbus Panhandles. However, with losses to the Chicago Staleys, Buffalo All-Americans and Akron Pros, the Jeffersons were far from the championship picture. The Jeffs again, played several games outside the APFA and posted an overall record of 4-3-1.
1922: The APFA becomes the National Football League, with the Jeffersons for the first time exclusively playing other teams from the NFL for the first time as non-league games would no longer count in the standings. The Jeffersons were one of the league’s worst teams, opening the season with a 13-13 ties against the Akron Pros. They would not score another point the remainder of the season as they were shutout in their final four games posting a record of 0-4-1.
1923: Playing just four games, the Rochester Jeffersons may have been the worst team in the history of the NFL as they opened the season with a 60-0 loss to the Chicago Cardinals and followed it up with a 56-0 loss to the Rock Island Independents. It was the first time a NFL team allowed 50 or more points in two straight games, and it would not happen again for 91 years when the Chicago Bears allowed 50 points in back-to-back games in 2014. After taking a month off, the Jeffersons came close to a win, falling to the Toledo Maroons 12-6, before ending the season at 0-4 with a 13-0 loss to the Buffalo All-Americans.
1924: The Jeffersons remained the NFL’s doormat as they lost seven straight games as their losing streak reached 15 games. The Jeffs would get shutout in six of their seven matchups, managing just one touchdown on the season during a 15-7 loss to the Columbus Tigers in Week 3. As they finished 0-7 and dead last in the NFL once again.
1925: The Rochester Jeffersons would spend most of the season on the road; the only home game came in Week 2 against the Buffalo Bisons. After opening the season with a 14-7 loss to the Canton Bulldogs, the Jeffersons 16 game losing streak ended as they played the Bisons to a scoreless tie. However, they would end the season by losing their last five games extending their winless streak to 23 games, a new NFL record, finishing the season with a record of 0-6-1. A record that would stand in infinity as the Jeffersons suspended operations following the season and folded three years later. The Jeffersons 23 game winless streak to end their franchise would later be topped by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who lost their first 26 games between 1976 and 1977.
©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 Rochester Jeffersons 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 January 11, 2015. Last updated on January 11, 2015 at 9:55 pm ET.