1979 Cleveland Browns season

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1979 Cleveland Browns season
Head coach Sam Rutigliano
Home field Cleveland Stadium
Local radio WHK
Results
Record 9–7–0
Division place 3rd AFC Central
Playoff finish did not qualify
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1978 1980 >

The 1979 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 30th season with the National Football League.

Season summary[edit]

In a season which could be titled "The Birth of The Kardiac Kids" the Browns, who finished 9–7, nearly made the playoffs while involved in a number of close games. They won their first three contests, all by three points, over the New York Jets in overtime 25–22, Kansas City Chiefs 27–24 and Baltimore Colts 13–10. They lost to the Washington Redskins by four points, 13–9, midway through the season, then beat the Cincinnati Bengals by one, 28–27, the following Sunday and the Philadelphia Eagles by five, 24–19, two weeks later. The Browns proceeded to lose to the Seattle Seahawks by five points, 29–24, beat the Miami Dolphins by six, 30–24, in overtime and lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers by three, 33–30, again in OT. That was the last of the Browns three overtime games that season. Then came a virtual "blowout" – a seven-point victory over the Houston Oilers, 14–7 – followed by two "one-sided" losses, by five points to the Oakland Raiders, 19–14, and by four to the Bengals, 16–12, to end the year. Add it all up, and 12 of the Browns' 16 games were decided by seven points or less. The club went just 7–5 in those games, though, which was the difference in that season from 1980, when the Browns were 10–2 in 12 contests decided by seven points or less.

How tight was the 1979 season overall for the Browns? So much so that they outscored their foes by just seven points all year. The Browns moved to 4–0 – their fastest start since 1963 – by stunning heavily favored Dallas 26–7 on Monday Night Football. The Browns gave up 51 points at home to the Steelers, who would go on to win their second straight Super Bowl and fourth in six years, yet scored 35 on the vaunted Steel Curtain defense and lost by 16. The game was shown on national TV, but NBC cut away to another contest, leaving only the Pittsburgh and Cleveland markets watching, after the Steelers vaulted to a 27–0 lead.

RB Mike Pruitt rushed for 1,294 yards and nine TDs, while wideout Dave Logan led the team in catches with 59 and missed getting 1,000 receiving yards by just 18. Logan, TE Ozzie Newsome and veteran WR Reggie Rucker combined for 22 TD catches.

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

The following were selected in the 1979 NFL Draft.

Round Overall Player Position School/Club Team
1 20 Willis Adams Wide Receiver Houston
2 40 Lawrence Johnson Defensive Back Wisconsin
2 47 Sam Claphan Offensive Tackle Oklahoma
3 70 Jim Ramey Defensive End Kentucky
4 95 Matt Miller Offensive Tackle Colorado
5 124 Rich Dimler Defensive Tackle USC
6 151 Clinton Burrell Defensive Back LSU
6 163 Jim Ronan Defensive Tackle Minnesota
7 183 Cody Risien Offensive Tackle Texas A&M
8 204 Kent Perkov Defensive End San Diego State
9 234 Carl McGee Linebacker Duke
9 241 Curtis Weathers Linebacker Mississippi
10 261 John Henry Smith Wide Receiver Tennessee State
11 287 Randy Poeschl Defensive End Nebraska
12 315 Dee Methvin Center Tulane

[1]

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 2, 1979 at New York Jets W 25–22
48,272
2 September 9, 1979 at Kansas City Chiefs W 27–24
42,181
3 September 16, 1979 Baltimore Colts W 13–10
72,070
4 September 24, 1979 Dallas Cowboys W 26–7
80,123
5 September 30, 1979 at Houston Oilers L 31–10
48,915
6 October 7, 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers L 51–35
81,260
7 October 14, 1979 Washington Redskins L 13–9
63,323
8 October 21, 1979 Cincinnati Bengals W 28–27
75,119
9 October 28, 1979 at St. Louis Cardinals W 38–20
47,845
10 November 4, 1979 at Philadelphia Eagles W 24–19
69,019
11 November 11, 1979 Seattle Seahawks L 29–24
72,440
12 November 18, 1979 Miami Dolphins W 30–24
80,374
13 November 25, 1979 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 33–30
49,112
14 December 2, 1979 Houston Oilers W 14–7
69,112
15 December 9, 1979 at Oakland Raiders L 19–14
52,641
16 December 16, 1979 at Cincinnati Bengals L 16–12
42,183

Standings[edit]

AFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA
Pittsburgh Steelers(2) 12 4 0 .750 4–2 9–3 416 262
Houston Oilers(4) 11 5 0 .688 4–2 9–3 362 331
Cleveland Browns 9 7 0 .563 2–4 6–6 359 352
Cincinnati Bengals 4 12 0 .250 2–4 2–10 337 421

Roster[edit]

1979 Cleveland Browns roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams


Rookies in italics


Awards and records[edit]

  • Brian Sipe, NFL Leader, Touchdown Passes (28), Tied with another player

Milestones[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1979 NFL Draft Listing – Pro-Football-Reference.com". Archived from the original on 2009-07-25. Retrieved 2009-07-23.