1953 NFL season
|Duration||September 27 –|
December 13, 1953
|East Champions||Cleveland Browns|
|West Champions||Detroit Lions|
Meanwhile, a Baltimore, Maryland, group headed by Carroll Rosenbloom was granted an NFL team, and was awarded the holdings of the defunct Dallas Texans organization. The new team was named the Baltimore Colts, after the previous team that folded after the 1950 season. The 12 teams of this NFL season continued for the rest of the 1950s; these teams became known as "old-line" teams as they predated the 1960 launch of the American Football League.
Major rule changes
- The definition of illegal motion is clarified. A player must be moving directly forward at the snap to be considered illegally in motion.
For 1953, the former American and National Conferences of the previous three seasons were renamed the Eastern and Western Conferences, respectively. The Western race saw the Rams beat the Lions twice, in Detroit (October 18) and in L.A. (November 1), and at the midway point in Week Six, the Rams were a full game ahead in the race. In Week Seven (November 8), the 49ers beat the Rams 31–27, and the Lions won their game, to put all three teams at 5–2–0. In Week Eight, the Lions beat Green Bay 14–7, while the Rams were tied 24–24 by the Cards, and the 49ers lost 23–21 to the Browns. As both teams won their remaining games, San Francisco was always a game behind Detroit.
In the Eastern, the Cleveland Browns won their first eleven games and led wire-to-wire, clinching a playoff spot by week 10. Their shot at a 12–0–0 regular season was spoiled by a 42–27 loss in the finale on December 13, and tarnished further by the championship game loss to the Lions two weeks later.
|1||4 teams||1–0–0||Tie (Cle, Was)||1–0–0|
|2||Tie (Det, SF)||2–0–0||Cleveland Browns||2–0–0|
|3||Detroit Lions||3–0–0||Cleveland Browns||3–0–0|
|4||3 teams||3–1–0||Cleveland Browns||4–0–0|
|5||Tie (Det, LA)||4–1–0||Cleveland Browns||5–0–0|
|6||Los Angeles Rams||5–1–0||Cleveland Browns||6–0–0|
|7||3 teams||5–2–0||Cleveland Browns||7–0–0|
|8||Detroit Lions||6–2–0||Cleveland Browns||8–0–0|
|9||Detroit Lions||7–2–0||Cleveland Browns||9–0–0|
|10||Detroit Lions||8–2–0||Cleveland Browns||10–0–0|
|11||Detroit Lions||9–2–0||Cleveland Browns||11–0–0|
|12||Detroit Lions||10–2–0||Cleveland Browns||11–1–0|
W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT= Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against
Note: The NFL did not officially count tie games in the standings until 1972
|New York Giants||3||9||0||.250||179||277|
|San Francisco 49ers||9||3||0||.750||372||237|
|Los Angeles Rams||8||3||1||.727||366||236|
|Green Bay Packers||2||9||1||.182||200||338|
NFL Championship Game
|Rushing||Joe Perry||San Francisco||1,018|
- Baltimore Colts: The new Colts team hired Keith Molesworth as their first head coach.
- Chicago Cardinals: Joe Kuharich was replaced by Joe Stydahar.
- Green Bay Packers: Gene Ronzani resigned after 10 games. Hugh Devore and Ray McLean served as co-head coaches for the rest of the season.