1953 Baltimore Colts season
|1953 Baltimore Colts season|
|Owner||Carroll Rosenbloom (primary)|
|Head coach||Keith Molesworth|
|Home field||Memorial Stadium|
|Division place||5th NFL Western|
|Playoff finish||Did not qualify|
The 1953 Baltimore Colts season was officially the first season for the team as a member club of the National Football League. The Colts had a record of 3 wins and 9 losses and finished fifth in the Western Conference.
In January 1953, a Baltimore-based group led by Carroll Rosenbloom won the rights to a new Baltimore franchise. Rosenbloom was granted an NFL team, and awarded the holdings of the defunct Dallas Texans organization, the descendant of the last remaining Ohio League founding APFA member Dayton Triangles, who lasted only one season in Dallas. Amongst these assets and players were hall of famers Gino Marchetti and Art Donovan, the nucleus of the group of players that remained from the Texans and carried on the legacy of the original Triangles franchise. Despite these definitive connections through the years, what was, and is still recognized as the new team was named the Colts after the unrelated previous team that folded following the 1950 season. The team kept the blue and white color scheme that the Triangles franchise had for much of its existence. Baltimore was without a team in 1951 and 1952.
The 1953 Colts have the unusual distinction of having a losing record, despite having a league-leading 56 defensive takeaways. Baltimore had a winning record after five games, defeating neighbor Washington before a capacity crowd of over 34,000 at Memorial Stadium, then lost seven straight to finish the season.
In the season opener against the Chicago Bears on September 27, Colts' defensive back Bert Rechichar set an NFL record for the longest field goal (56 yards), breaking the previous unofficial record of 55 yards (set by drop kick by Paddy Driscoll in 1924). It stood for over seventeen years, until Tom Dempsey booted a 63-yarder in 1970.
|1||September 27||Chicago Bears||W 13–9||1–0||Memorial Stadium||23,715||Recap|
|2||Detroit Lions||L 17–27||1–1||Memorial Stadium||25,159||Recap|
|3||October 11||at Chicago Bears||W 16–14||2–1||Wrigley Field||35,316||Recap|
|4||October 18||at Green Bay Packers||L 14–37||2–2||City Stadium||18,713||Recap|
|5||October 25||Washington Redskins||W 27–17||3–2||Memorial Stadium||34,031||Recap|
|6||Green Bay Packers||L 24–35||3–3||Memorial Stadium||33,797||Recap|
|7||at Detroit Lions||L 7–17||3–4||Tiger Stadium||46,508||Recap|
|8||November 15||at Philadelphia Eagles||L 14–45||3–5||Shibe Park||27,813||Recap|
|9||November 22||Los Angeles Rams||L 13–21||3–6||Memorial Stadium||27,268||Recap|
|10||November 29||San Francisco 49ers||L 21–38||3–7||Memorial Stadium||26,005||Recap|
|11||at Los Angeles Rams||L 2–45||3–8||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||26,696||Recap|
|12||December 13||at San Francisco 49ers||L 14–45||3–9||Kezar Stadium||23,432||Recap|
Note: Intra-conference opponents are in bold text.
|NFL Western Conference|
|San Francisco 49ers||9||3||0||.750||8–2||372||237||W4|
|Los Angeles Rams||8||3||1||.727||7–3||366||236||W2|
|Green Bay Packers||2||9||1||.182||2–7–1||200||338||L5|
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
- "Baltimore assured NFL franchise". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. January 7, 1953. p. 29.
- "Historical highlights of Colts". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. South Carolina. March 30, 1984. p. C4.
- Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single season, from 1940 to 2012, in the regular season, sorted by descending Takeaways. The total is tied for the 6th most in NFL history.
- "Colts defeat 'Skins, 27-17". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. October 26, 1953. p. 28.
- "Colts jolt Bears, 13-9, get record 56-yard field goal". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. September 28, 1953. p. 2, part 2.
- "Dempsey's 63 yard FG jolts Lions". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. November 9, 1970. p. 1, part 2.