1964 NFL Championship Game
|Date||December 27, 1964|
|Stadium||Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Ken Coleman, Chuck Thompson, Frank Gifford|
|Radio in the United States|
|Announcers||Jack Drees, Jim Morse|
The 1964 National Football League championship game was the 32nd annual championship game, held on December 27 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. With an attendance of 79,544, it was the first NFL title game to be televised by CBS.
The game marked the last championship won by a major-league professional sports team from Cleveland until 52 years later when the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Finals.
The Baltimore Colts finished the 1964 regular season with a record of 12–2 and handily won the Western Conference for the first time since 1959, clinching the title with three games remaining; the runner-up Green Bay Packers were at 8–5–1. The Colts were led by second-year head coach Don Shula and quarterback Johnny Unitas. This was the Colts' third NFL championship game appearance since joining the National Football League in 1953, seeking to win their first since repeating in 1959.
The Cleveland Browns finished the regular season with a record of 10–3–1, winning won the Eastern Conference by a half game over the St. Louis Cardinals at 9–3–2. The Browns were led by their head coach Blanton Collier, quarterback Frank Ryan, running back Jim Brown, and receivers Gary Collins and Paul Warfield. This was the Browns' eighth NFL championship game appearance since joining the NFL in 1950, and the first since 1957.
The first half went scoreless, but Cleveland went on an unanswered 17-point run to take the lead after three quarters. Unitas completed 12 of 20 passes for only 95 yards. The Browns' Collins set a title game record with three touchdown catches in one game. Ryan threw those three passes in paving the way to the Browns' fourth NFL crown. Lou Groza kicked field goals of 42 and 10 yards, and Brown carried the ball 27 times and gaining 114 yards.
- First quarter
- no scoring
- Second quarter
- no scoring
- Third quarter
- Fourth quarter
- CLE – FG Groza 9, 20–0 CLE
- CLE – Collins 51 yard pass from Ryan (Groza kick), 27–0 CLE
This was also the last game in which penalty flags in NFL games were white. The league switched to bright yellow flags the next season.
The gate receipts for the game were about $635,000 and the television money was $1.9 million. Each player on the winning Browns team received about $8,000, while Colts players made around $5,000 each. This was about triple the amount for the players' shares in the AFL championship game
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- Heaton, Chuck (December 27, 1964). "Browns Capture Crown, 27–0". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved December 12, 2007.