1953 NFL Championship Game

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1953 NFL Championship Game
1 2 3 4 Total
Cleveland Browns 0 3 7 6 16
Detroit Lions 7 3 0 7 17
Date December 27, 1953
Stadium Briggs Stadium
City Detroit, MI
Attendance 54,577
TV/Radio in the United States
TV Network DuMont
TV Announcers Harry Wismer and Red Grange
Radio Network Mutual
Radio Announcers Earl Gillespie and Chris Schenkel
Previous game Next game
1952 1954

The 1953 National Football League championship game was the 21st annual championship game. The NFL title game was held on December 27, 1953 at Briggs Stadium, Detroit, Michigan. The game was a rematch to the 1952 game between the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns.

The Detroit Lions had finished the 1953 season with a record of 10–2 and the Western Conference title. The Lions were led by quarterback Bobby Layne and running back Doak Walker.

The Cleveland Browns had finished the regular season with a record of 11–1 and won the Eastern Conference. The Browns were led by their head coach Paul Brown and quarterback Otto Graham. This was the Browns' fourth NFL championship game appearance since joining the NFL in 1950.

The Lions, considered the underdog team, put all their strength and agility into one final effort to become the third team in National League history to win two championships in a row. The Lions struck first with a Doak Walker touchdown, as the Lions and Browns would both score field goals before half time. But the Browns would score thirteen straight points in the second half to take the lead.

Trailing by six points with four minutes and 10 seconds of play remaining, the Lions started from their own 20-yard line and fought their way 80 yards in eight plays, the touchdown coming on a 33-yard pass from Bobby Layne to Jim Doran in the end zone, with Walker's ensuing extra point giving the Lions the lead.

The Browns had one last chance. Ken Carpenter started the drive with a run to his own 28, but an Otto Graham pass intended for Darrell Brewster was deflected by rookie defensive halfback Carl Karilivacz, intercepting the throw, clinching the Lions their third title. [1]


  • DET – Walker 1-yard run (Walker Kick) 7–0 DET
  • CLE – FG Groza 13 yard 7–3 DET
  • DET – FG Walker 23 yard 10–3 DET
  • CLE – Jagade 9-yard run (Groza kick) 10–10 TIE
  • CLE – FG Groza 15 yard 13–10 CLE
  • CLE – FG Groza 43 yard 16–10 CLE
  • DET – Doran 33-yard pass from Layne (Walker kick) 17–16 DET


[2] Harold Sauerbrie, "Browns Lose Title Game, 17–16", Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 27, 1953, Browns history database retrieved December 12, 2007