1971 Cleveland Browns season

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1971 Cleveland Browns season
Head coach Nick Skorich
Home field Cleveland Stadium
Local radio WHK
Results
Record 9–5–0
Division place 1st AFC Central
Playoff finish Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1970 1972 >

The 1971 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 22nd season with the National Football League.

After missing the playoffs the previous year, the Browns got off to a good start at 4–1 only to stumble losing 4 straight to fall to 4–5. However, the Browns would rebound to win the final 4 games of the season and a Central Division title. Just as the 1967 Browns returned to the playoffs following a one-year absence, so, too, did the '71 club, which was in its first season under new head coach Nick Skorich after Blanton Collier's final team in 1970 had finished just 7–7, ending a string of three consecutive postseason berths.

As was the case in 1967, the '71 Browns went 9–5 and won a division crown. They captured the AFC Central for the first time, finishing three games in front of the soon-to-emerge Pittsburgh Steelers (6–8).In the playoffs the Browns would fall in the first round 20–3 to the Baltimore Colts. Running back Leroy Kelly was on the downside of his Pro Football Hall of Fame career, but he did manage to rush for 865 yards and 10 touchdowns – still good for a 14-game season, Wide receiver Fair Hooker led the team in receptions with 45.[1]

Exhibition schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 August 8, 1971 at San Francisco 49ers L 38–24
40,000
2 August 13, 1971 vs. Los Angeles Rams L 17–5
52,503
3 August 20, 1971 at Dallas Cowboys L 16–15
69,099
4 August 28, 1971 vs. Chicago Bears at South Bend, Indiana L 20–19
43,568
5 September 4, 1971 New York Giants W 30–7
82,710
6 September 10, 1971 at St. Louis Cardinals L 27–13
46,171

Regular season schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 19, 1971 Houston Oilers W 31–0
73,387
2 September 26, 1971 at Baltimore Colts W 14–13
56,837
3 October 4, 1971 Oakland Raiders L 34–20
84,285
4 October 10, 1971 Pittsburgh Steelers W 27–17
83,391
5 October 17, 1971 at Cincinnati Bengals W 27–24
60,284
6 October 24, 1971 Denver Broncos L 27–0
75,674
7 October 31, 1971 Atlanta Falcons L 31–14
76,825
8 November 7, 1971 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 26–9
50,202
9 November 14, 1971 at Kansas City Chiefs L 13–7
50,388
10 November 21, 1971 New England Patriots W 27–7
65,238
11 November 28, 1971 at Houston Oilers W 37–24
37,921
12 December 5, 1971 Cincinnati Bengals W 31–27
82,705
13 December 12, 1971 at New Orleans Saints W 21–17
72,794
14 December 19, 1971 at Washington Redskins W 20–13
53,041

Playoffs[edit]

Round Date Opponent Result Attendance
Divisional December 26, 1971 Baltimore Colts L 20–3
74,082

Standings[edit]

AFC Central
W L T PCT PF PA STK
Cleveland Browns 9 5 0 .643 285 273 W-5
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 8 0 .429 246 292 L-1
Houston Oilers 4 9 1 .308 251 330 W-3
Cincinnati Bengals 4 10 0 .286 284 265 L-3

References[edit]

  1. ^ Season statistics and summary at Cleveland Browns.com