1966 Cleveland Browns season
|1966 Cleveland Browns season|
|Head coach||Blanton Collier|
|Home field||Cleveland Stadium|
|Division place||T-2nd NFL Eastern|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
The 1966 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 17th season with the National Football League. They finished just 9–5, their worst record since 1962, and failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1963.
Save for a devastating 16–6 upset loss to a Pittsburgh Steelers team that would finish just 5–8–1, the Browns offense scored points in bunches. In later years, Browns players from that era said the 1966 team had the best offense—even better than the one in 1964, when the club won the NFL championship—and there's evidence to support that contention. The flurry of points started in the opener when the Browns blew out the Washington Redskins 38–14. It continued in a stretch of five straight games in which they lost 34–28 to the St. Louis Cardinals, beat the New York Giants 28–7, routed the Steelers 41–10, turned back the Dallas Cowboys 30–21 and crushed the expansion Atlanta Falcons 49–17.
Then, as they were finishing the season, the Browns outscored the Giants 49–40 and walloped the Cardinals 38–10.
The Browns scored 403 points in all, averaging a healthy 28.8 per contest. Even in the game that eventually did in their playoff chances—a 33–21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the next-to-last week—they were able to score a decent amount of points. Quarterback Frank Ryan was as good – or better – than he was in any of his previous three seasons as the full-time starter, including 1964, when he helped lead the Browns to the NFL championship. He threw for a career-high 2,974 yards and had better than a 2-to-1 ratio of touchdown passes (29) to interceptions (14). He also posted his second-best quarterback rating at 88.2.
The following were selected in the 1966 NFL Draft.
|1||14||Milt Morin||Tight End||Massachusetts|
|4||61||Pete Duranko||Defensive End||Notre Dame|
|5||74||Randy Schultz||Running Back||Northern Iowa|
|6||90||Jim Battle||Tackle||Saginaw Valley|
|8||123||Tom Talaga||End||Notre Dame|
|9||139||Jack Gregory||Defensive End||Delta St.|
|10||153||Monte Ledbetter||Wide Receiver||Northwestern St. (LA)|
|11||169||Tony Fire||Tackle||Bowling Green|
|13||199||Jim Boudreaux||Tackle||Louisiana Tech|
|14||213||Pete Lammons||Tight End||Texas|
|15||229||Bob Ellis||Defensive End||Massachusetts|
|17||259||Gene Modzelewski||Tackle||New Mexico St.|
|18||273||Charlie Harraway||Running Back||San Jose St.|
|20||303||Joe Petro||Defensive Back||Temple|
|1||August 6, 1966||at Los Angeles Rams||L 16–6||
|2||August 14, 1966||at San Francisco 49ers||W 28–17||
|3||August 20, 1966||at Atlanta Falcons||W 42–3||
|4||August 26, 1966||Baltimore Colts||L 24–17||
|5||September 3, 1966||vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Regular season schedule
|1||September 11||at Washington Redskins||W 38–14||1–0||
|2||September 18||Green Bay Packers||L 21–20||1–1||
|3||September 25||St. Louis Cardinals||L 34–28||1–2||
|4||October 2||at New York Giants||W 28–7||2–2||
|5||October 8||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 41–10||3–2||
|7||October 23||Dallas Cowboys||W 30–21||4–2||
|8||October 30||at Atlanta Falcons||W 49–17||5–2||
|9||November 6||at Pittsburgh Steelers||L 16–6||5–3||
|10||November 13||Philadelphia Eagles||W 27–7||6–3||
|11||November 20||Washington Redskins||W 14–3||7–3||
|12||November 24||at Dallas Cowboys||L 26–14||7–4||
|13||December 4||New York Giants||W 49–40||8–4||
|14||December 11||at Philadelphia Eagles||L 33–21||8–5||
|15||December 17||at St. Louis Cardinals||W 38–10||9–5||
- A bye week was necessary in 1966, as the league expanded to an odd-number (15) of teams (Atlanta); one team was idle each week.
|NFL Eastern Conference|
|St. Louis Cardinals||8||5||1||.615||7–5–1||264||265||L3|
|New York Giants||1||12||1||.077||1–11–1||263||501||L8|
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
|1966 Cleveland Browns roster|
Rookies in italics
- Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Sep-15.