1953 Cleveland Browns season

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1953 Cleveland Browns season
Head coach Paul Brown
Home field Cleveland Stadium
Local radio WTAM
Results
Record 11–1–0
Division place 1st NFL American
Playoff finish Lost NFL Championship

The 1953 Cleveland Browns season was the team's fourth season with the National Football League. Their start of 11–0–0 before losing their last game was the closest to a true perfect season in the NFL until the 1972 Miami Dolphins, but after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in their last game and missing a perfect regular season, the Browns were beaten in the NFL Championship Game by the Detroit Lions

Exhibition Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 August 23, 1953 at San Francisco 49ers W 20–7
36,273
2 August 28, 1953 at Los Angeles Rams L 27–9
21,440
3 September 4, 1953 at Detroit Lions T 24–24
39,985
4 September 7, 1953 vs. Baltimore Colts at Akron W 23–21
20,000
5 September 11, 1953 at Chicago Bears W 20–14
36,796
6 September 19, 1953 Green Bay Packers W 21–13
22,336

Regular Season Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 27, 1953 at Green Bay Packers W 27–0
22,604
2 October 4, 1953 at Chicago Cardinals W 27–7
24,374
3 October 10, 1953 Philadelphia Eagles W 37–13
45,802
4 October 18, 1953 at Washington Redskins W 30–14
33,963
5 October 25, 1953 at New York Giants W 7–0
30,773
6 November 1, 1953 Washington Redskins W 27–3
47,845
7 November 8, 1953 Pittsburgh Steelers W 34–16
35,592
8 November 15, 1953 San Francisco 49ers W 23–21
80,698
9 November 22, 1953 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 20–16
32,904
10 November 29, 1953 Chicago Cardinals W 27–16
24,499
11 December 6, 1953 New York Giants W 62–14
40,235
12 December 13, 1953 at Philadelphia Eagles L 42–27
38,654

The Season That Was In Review[edit]

Week 1 at Green Bay[edit]

In the first meeting between Cleveland and Green Bay, the Browns roll up 376 yards and Otto Graham completed 18 0f 24 yards to highlight a 27-0 season opening win in Milwaukee. The Browns yield 159 yards and allow the Packers to penetrate Cleveland territory just four times.

Week 5 at New York[edit]

Graham scores the game's only touchdown on a 4-yard run in the second period as the Browns beat the Giants, 7-0, on a muddy Polo Grounds field. Graham, who attempts only five passes as the inclement conditions, scores after an offsides penalty on Lou Groza's missed field goal attempt gives the Browns a critical first down.

Week 6 vs. Washington[edit]

The Undefeated Browns make life miserable for Redskins quarterback Eddie LeBaron by intercepting four passes in a 27-3 win at Cleveland Stadium. Tommy James ties his own Browns record with three as Cleveland scores 24 points off turnovers.

Week 8 vs. San Francisco[edit]

A Cleveland Stadium crowd of 80,698 watches the Browns dispatch longtime rival San Francisco, 23-21. With the Browns leading 10-0, Graham is knocked out of bounds by defensive back Fred Bruney and elbowed in the face by linebacker Art Michalik, who opens a gash that requires 15 stitches and nearly incites a riot. Graham returns for the third quarter wearing a clear plastic protective bar in front of his face, a device that will evolve into today's face mask. Showing little effect from his injury, Graham leads the Browns to 13 second half points and the victory.

Week 11 vs. New York[edit]

The Browns improve to 11-0 by winning a 62-14 laugher over the Giants at Cleveland Stadium. George Ratterman starts in place of Graham and completes 15-of-27 passes for 235 yards and four touchdowns. Graham plays briefly and completes 3-of-4 passes, two for touchdowns. Pete Brewster catches seven passes for 182 yards and three touchdowns in the most productive game of his career.

NFL Championship Game[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Championship December 27, 1953 at Detroit Lions L 17–16
54,577

Scoring

  • DET – Walker 1 yard run (Walker Kick)
  • CLE – FG Groza 13 yard
  • DET – FG Walker 23 yard
  • CLE – Jagade 9 yard run (Groza kick)
  • CLE – FG Groza 15 yard
  • CLE – FG Groza 43 yard
  • DET – Doran 33 yard pass from Layne (Walker kick)

Standings[edit]

NFL Eastern Conference
W L T PCT CONF PF PA STK
Cleveland Browns 11 1 0 .917 9–1 348 162 L1
Philadelphia Eagles 7 4 1 .636 6–3–1 352 215 W1
Washington Redskins 6 5 1 .545 6–3–1 208 215 L1
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 6 0 .500 5–5 211 263 W2
New York Giants 3 9 0 .250 3–7 179 277 L2
Chicago Cardinals 1 10 1 .091 0–10 190 337 W1

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

Awards and records[edit]