Proving that their All-America Football Conference championship in 1946, both the team's and league's first year of existence, was no fluke, the Browns won the crown again in '47.
They captured the Western Division title with a 12-1-1 record, just a shade better than the 12-2 finish of the year before, and then beat the New York Yankees 14-3 in the championship game. It marked the second time they had topped the Yankees for the championship after also having done so in 1946, 14-9.
The Browns' only loss in 1947 came by a mere three points, 13-10 to the Los Angeles Dons, just before the halfway point of the season.
In the third-to-last contest of the year, they battled to a 28-28 tie with the Yankees after trailing 28-0 at halftime. That's considered one of the greatest comebacks -- if not THE greatest comeback -- in Browns history.
The club survived two close calls, edging the Brooklyn Dodgers 13-12 and the Chicago Rockets 31-28. They also had their hands full with the San Francisco 49ers before winning 14-7.
Other than that, though, Cleveland hardly broke a sweat, defeating the Buffalo Bills 30-14 and 28-7, the Dodgers 55-7, the 49ers 37-14 and the Rockets 41-21.
And in their most thorough domination of a team, the Browns didn't allow a single point in two games against the Baltimore Colts, winning 28-0 and 42-0.
It all added up to the fact the Browns scored 410 points during the regular season, averaging 29.3 per game, while giving up but 185 (13.2).
Individually on offense, it was pretty much the same as it had been in 1946, with quarterback Otto Graham, wide receivers Mac Speedie and Dante Lavelli and running back Marion Motley having the most prominent roles.
Graham passed for 2,753 yards and 25 touchdowns with just 11 interceptions. Speedie had 67 receptions for six TDs, while Lavelli had 49 and nine, respectively.
Motley rushed for 889 yards, averaging 6.1 yards per attempt, and 10 scores.
Cornerback Tom Colella grabbed six interceptions to lead the defense, with safeties Cliff Lewis and Ermal Allen and cornerback Don Greenwood getting four each.
But as good as 1947 and, for that matter, '46, had been for the Browns, 1948 would turn out to be even better -- historic, actually.
|9/5||W 30-14||Buffalo Bisons||63,263|
|9/12||W 55-7||at Brooklyn Dodgers||18,876|
|9/21||W 28-0||Baltimore Colts||44,257|
|9/26||W 41-21||at Chicago Rockets||18,450|
|10/5||W 26-17||New York Yankees||80,067|
|10/12||L 10-13||Los Angeles Dons||63,124|
|10/19||W 31-28||Chicago Rockets||35,266|
|10/26||W 14-7||at San Francisco 49ers||54,483|
|11/2||W 28-7||at Buffalo Bisons||43,167|
|11/9||W 13-12||Brooklyn Dodgers||30,279|
|11/16||W 37-14||San Francisco 49ers||76,504|
|11/23||T 28-28||at New York Yankees||70,060|
|11/27||W 27-27||at Los Angeles Dons||45,009|
|12/7||W 42-0||at Baltimore Colts||20,574|
|12/14||W 14-9||New York Yankees||61,879|
Cleveland kicks off division slate Sunday at Baltimore
Entire Cleveland unit must play together to stop Baltimore’s offense
Browns equipment manager Brad Melland sits down with Max Linsky
Senior Writer Andrew Gribble takes your questions