1964 Cleveland Browns season

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1964 Cleveland Browns season
Head coach Blanton Collier
General manager Harold Sauerbrei
Owner Art Modell
Home field Cleveland Stadium
Local radio WERE
Results
Record 10–3–1
Division place 1st NFL Eastern
Playoff finish Won NFL Championship (4)
Pro Bowlers FB Jim Brown
DE Bill Glass
OLB Jim Houston
DT Dick Modzelewski
QB Frank Ryan
T Dick Schafrath
SE Paul Warfield

The 1964 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 19th season, and 15th season with the National Football League. The Browns won the NFL Championship, despite having not made the playoffs in six seasons.[1]

Regular season[edit]

The regular season was a success with the Browns finishing with a regular season record of 10–3–1.They were coached by Blanton Collier who had replaced the historic Paul Brown the previous season. The team had a tremendous amount of heart, which was demonstrated by the fact that they had key commanding wins throughout the season. For instance, they swept their arch rival New York Giants, who the previous year had edged them out as the eastern conference champion. Not only did they win both times that they played against the Giants but both wins were very convincing, the first being a 42–20 home victory and the second being a 52–20 away victory. The second victory over the Giants was a clutch, season ending game that clinched the eastern conference title. Many of the Browns' wins during the regular season were in a very commanding manner, with a 37–21 win over the Detroit Lions being a prime example. The win over the Lions carried extra significance due to the fact that the Lions had been the team that knocked them out of the conference champion hunt the previous season by beating them 38–10 in the second to last regular season game.

The Browns were led by Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown who had a stellar regular season, rushing for 1,446 yards with a 5.2 yards/carry average. Although they had a great rushing game, the Browns had a very balanced offense, choosing not to just hand the ball to Brown on every play. The quarterback of the team was Frank Ryan who had a decent season throwing for 2,404 yards and 25 touchdowns while throwing 19 interceptions. The top receivers of the team were Paul Warfield and Gary Collins, the second of whom would become a legend by catching three touchdowns in the championship game against the heavily favored Baltimore Colts.[2][3]

Championship Game[edit]

Leading into the game, the Browns were huge underdogs. Most experts had them losing by double digits. Baltimore was so heavily favored that after the Browns won the game, Sports Illustrated had to scramble to find a picture of a Browns player to put on its cover. Baltimore had the league's best offense and had a league best record of 12–2. They were stacked with future Hall of Famers such as Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore, and John Mackey. The Browns though, were unfazed by the apparent talent disparity and Jim Brown was reported stating before the game, "we're going to kick their [butt] today." The game-time temperature that day was 34 degrees and felt much colder in 15- to 25-mph winds whipping under gray December sky. The Municipal Stadium crowd of 79,544 was the second largest in NFL title-game history at the time. The Browns knew that if they wanted to be in the game they had to make a statement early on, and they did just that. Galen Fiss, the Browns team captain, broke up a screen pass from Unitas to Moore, sending Moore airborne for a loss. The Browns tenacity on defense is what got them to the half time score of 0–0. Brown's running back Ernie Green reported after the game about half time, "We cleaned ourselves and sat down, and it seemed like something came over all of us. I think we all kind of looked at each other and concluded, 'Hey, we can beat these guys.'" Not only did the Browns "beat" the Colts in the second half, They destroyed them, scoring 27 unanswered points. Gary Collins became a Cleveland Browns legend by catching three touch down passes, the third one being a 51-yarder with Colts defender Bobby Boyd all over him. The biggest story of the game was how well Cleveland's defense played against Baltimore's heralded offense. Cleveland was able to hold Unitas to just 95 yards while intercepting him twice.[4]

Lasting value[edit]

This was the last major sports championship won by a Cleveland-based team until 2016, when the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that was formed in 1970, defeated the defending champion Golden State Warriors in a seven-game NBA Finals. Not only is it remembered in Cleveland but ESPN ranks the '64 title game as the second-greatest NFL postseason upset, behind only Joe Namath's guaranteed win over the Colts in Super Bowl III four seasons later.

Offseason[edit]

1964 draft class[edit]

1964 Cleveland Browns Draft
Round Selection Player Position College
1 11 Paul Warfield Wide Receiver Ohio State
2 26 Billy Truax Defensive End LSU
4 54 Don Shackelford Tackle Pacific
5 67 Dick Klein Tackle Wichita State
7 95 Sammy Odom Linebacker Northwestern (LA) State
8 110 Leroy Kelly Running Back Morgan State
9 123 John Briscoe Linebacker Arizona
10 135 Bobby Robinson Guard Mississippi
138 Dick Van Raaphorst Kicker Ohio State
11 151 Eddie Versprille Fullback Alabama
12 166 Ed Mitchell Tackle Southern
13 179 Bob Meehan Guard Syracuse
14 194 Terry Sieg Running Back Virginia
15 207 John Houtman Tackle Michigan
16 222 Sid Williams End Southern
17 235 Larry Bartolameolli Tackle Western Michigan
18 250 Sherman Lewis Defensive Back Michigan State
19 263 Jim Higgins Guard Xavier
20 278 Dave Archer Tackle Syracuse

[5]

Exhibition schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Score Record Stadium Attendance Time (ET) Local TV Radio
1 August 9 at San Francisco 49ers L 7–26 0–1 Kezar Stadium
27,404
4:30 PM EDT WGAR–AM
2 August 15 (Sat) at Los Angeles Rams W 56–31 1–1 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
43,183
11:00 PM EDT WEWS-TV WERE–AM
3 August 22 (Sat) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (at Akron) W 42–7 2–1 Rubber Bowl
27,255
8:00 PM EDT WERE–AM
4 August 28 (Fri) at Detroit Lions W 35–14 3–1 Tiger Stadium
36,946
8:00 PM EDT WEWS-TV WGAR–AM
5 September 5 (Sat) Green Bay Packers W 20–17 4–1 Cleveland Stadium
83,736
9:00 PM EDT WGAR–AM

Notes:

a All times are EASTERN time.

Game Officials[edit]

Week Opponent Referee Umpire Head Linesman Back Judge Field Judge
1 at San Francisco
2 at Los Angeles
3 Pittsburgh (at Akron)
4 at Detroit
5 Green Bay

Regular season schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Score Record Stadium Attendance Time (ET) Network Radio Recap
1 September 13 at Washington Redskins W 27–13 1–0 District of Columbia Stadium
47,577
1:30 PM EDT CBS WGAR–AM Recap
2 September 20 St. Louis Cardinals T 33–33 1–0–1 Cleveland Stadium
76,954
1:30 PM EDT CBS WGAR–AM Recap
3 September 27 at Philadelphia Eagles W 28–20 2–0–1 Franklin Field
60,671
1:30 PM EDT CBS WGAR–AM Recap
4 October 4 Dallas Cowboys W 27–6 3–0–1 Cleveland Stadium
72,062
1:30 PM EDT CBS WGAR–AM Recap
5 October 10 (Sat) Pittsburgh Steelers L 7–23 3–1–1 Cleveland Stadium
80,530
8:00 PM EDT Sports Network Incorporated (SNI) WERE–AM Recap
6 October 18 at Dallas Cowboys W 20–16 4–1–1 Cotton Bowl
37,456
2:30 PM EDT CBS WERE–AM Recap
7 October 25 New York Giants W 42–20 5–1–1 Cleveland Stadium
81,050
1:30 PM EST CBS WERE–AM Recap
8 November 1 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 30–17 6–1–1 Pitt Stadium
49,568
1:30 PM EST CBS WERE–AM Recap
9 November 8 Washington Redskins W 34–24 7–1–1 Cleveland Stadium
76,385
1:30 PM EST CBS WERE–AM Recap
10 November 15 Detroit Lions W 37–21 8–1–1 Cleveland Stadium
83,064
1:30 PM EST CBS WERE–AM Recap
11 November 22 vs. Green Bay Packers (at Milwaukee) L 21–28 8–2–1 Milwaukee County Stadium
48,065
2:00 PM EST CBS WERE–AM Recap
12 November 29 Philadelphia Eagles W 38–24 9–2–1 Cleveland Stadium
79,289
1:30 PM EST CBS WERE–AM Recap
13 December 6 at St. Louis Cardinals L 19–28 9–3–1 Busch Stadium I
31,585
2:00 PM EST CBS WERE–AM Recap
14 December 12 (Sat) at New York Giants W 52–20 10–3–1 Yankee Stadium (I)
63,007
2:00 PM EST CBS WERE–AM Recap

Notes:

a All times are EASTERN time. (UTC–4 and UTC–5 starting October 25)

Game Summaries[edit]

Week 1: at Washington Redskins[edit]

Cleveland Browns 27, Washington Redskins 13
1 234Total
Browns 0 1377 27
Redskins 0 1003 13

[6]

Week 2: vs. St. Louis Cardinals[edit]

St. Louis Cardinals 33, Cleveland Browns 33
1 234Total
Cardinals 10 31010 33
Browns 6 10710 33

[7]

Week 3: at Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

Cleveland Browns 28, Philadelphia Eagles 20
1 234Total
Browns 7 0147 28
Eagles 7 607 20

[8]

Week 4: vs. Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Cleveland Browns 27, Dallas Cowboys 6
1 234Total
Cowboys 0 600 6
Browns 7 677 27

[9]

Week 5: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Cleveland Browns 7
1 234Total
Steelers 10 670 23
Browns 0 700 7

[10]

Week 6: at Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Cleveland Browns 20, Dallas Cowboys 16
1 234Total
Browns 7 607 20
Cowboys 0 6100 16

[11]

Week 7: vs. New York Giants[edit]

Cleveland Browns 42, New York Giants 20
1 234Total
Giants 6 077 20
Browns 0 7728 42

[12]

Week 8: at Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

Cleveland Browns 30, Pittsburgh Steelers 17
1 234Total
Browns 0 101010 30
Steelers 0 1007 17

[13]

Week 9: vs. Washington Redskins[edit]

Cleveland Browns 34, Washington Redskins 24
1 234Total
Redskins 0 3714 24
Browns 0 13147 34

[14]

Week 10: vs. Detroit Lions[edit]

Cleveland Browns 37, Detroit Lions 21
1 234Total
Lions 14 700 21
Browns 7 13710 37

[15]

Week 11: at Green Bay Packers[edit]

Green Bay Packers 28, Cleveland Browns 21
1 234Total
Browns 14 007 21
Packers 7 0147 28

[16]

Week 12: vs. Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

Cleveland Browns 38, Philadelphia Eagles 24
1 234Total
Eagles 3 0714 24
Browns 7 14107 38

[17]

Week 13: at St. Louis Cardinals[edit]

St. Louis Cardinals 28, Cleveland Browns 19
1 234Total
Browns 3 3310 19
Cardinals 0 2170 28

[18]

Week 14: at New York Giants[edit]

Cleveland Browns 52, New York Giants 20
1 234Total
Browns 3 21217 52
Giants 0 7013 20

[19]

Game Officials[edit]

Week Opponent Referee Umpire Head Linesman Back Judge Field Judge
1 at Washington (23) Harry Brubaker (18) Tony Sacco (8) Grover Klemmer (29) Stan Jaworowski (32) Jim Tunney
2 St. Louis (7) Tom Bell (20) Frank Sinkovitz (30) George Murphy (25) Tom Kelleher (34) Fritz Graf
3 at Philadelphia (52) George Rennix (51) Lou Palazzi (28) Bill Schleibaum (24) Bruce Alford (10) Charles Sweeney
4 Dallas (56) Norm Schachter (4) James Beiersdorfer (26) Ed Marion (33) Art Holst (27) Herm Rohrig
5 Pittsburgh
6 at Dallas () Bill Downes (4) James Beiersdorfer () Sam Cooperman () Armen Terzian () Joe Gonzales
7 New York (56) Norm Schachter
8 at Pittsburgh
9 Washington (52) George Rennix
10 Detroit (55) Tony Skovar
11 vs. Green Bay (at Milwaukee)
12 Philadelphia (3) Jim Pace
13 at St. Louis
14 at New York

Playoffs[edit]

Round Date Opponent Result Score Stadium Attendance Time (ET) Network Local Radio National Radio Recap
NFL Championship Game December 27 Baltimore Colts W 27–0 Cleveland Stadium
79,544
1:30 PM EST CBS WERE–AM CBS Recap

Notes:

a All times are EASTERN time.

1964 NFL Championship Game: vs. Baltimore Colts[edit]

1964 NFL Championship Game: Cleveland Browns 27, Baltimore Colts 0
1 234Total
Colts 0 000 0
Browns 0 01710 27

[20]

Officials[edit]

Round Opponent Referee Umpire Head Linesman Back Judge Field Judge Alternates
1964 NFL Championship Game Baltimore (56) Norm Schachter (57) Joe Connell (30) George Murphy (25) Tom Kelleher (16) Mike Lisetski (52) George Rennix, (29) Stan Jaworowski

Standings[edit]

NFL Eastern Conference
W L T PCT CONF PF PA STK
Cleveland Browns 10 3 1 .769 9–2–1 415 293 W1
St. Louis Cardinals 9 3 2 .750 8–2–2 357 331 W4
Philadelphia Eagles 6 8 0 .429 6–6 312 313 L1
Washington Redskins 6 8 0 .429 5–7 307 305 L2
Dallas Cowboys 5 8 1 .385 4–7–1 250 289 W1
Pittsburgh Steelers 5 9 0 .357 5–7 253 315 L1
New York Giants 2 10 2 .167 2–8–2 241 399 L4

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

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1964 Cleveland Browns staff
Front office
  • Owner - Art Modell
  • General Manager - Harold Sauerbrei

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches


Strength and conditioning

  • Trainer - Leo Murphy
  • Equipment Manager - Morrie Kono

Roster[edit]

1964 Cleveland Browns roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams


Rookies in italics

[21]

Media[edit]

Radio[edit]

Flagship station Play-by-play Color commentator
WERE–AM 1300 (main)
WGAR–AM 1220 (backup)
Gib Shanley Jim Graner

Pre season TV[edit]

Local TV Play-by-play Color commentator
WEWS-TV 5 Ken Coleman Warren Lahr

Awards and records[edit]

  • Jim Brown, NFL Rushing Leader, (1,446 yards)
  • Frank Ryan, NFL Leader, Touchdown Passes, (25)

Milestones[edit]

  • Jim Brown, Seventh NFL Rushing Title

1965 NFL Pro Bowl (1964 NFL Season), January 10, 1965[edit]

Pro Bowl

References[edit]