History

History: 1953


Team Photo

OK, so the Browns didn't win at all in 1953, falling by just a point, 17-16, to the Detroit Lions to absorb their third straight NFL Championship Game defeat.

However, the Browns accomplished about every other goal imaginable.

They captured their first 11 regular-season games before suffering a meaningless 42-27 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the finale. The Browns had long since clinched the Eastern Conference title by then, as their final 11-1 record put them well ahead of the runnerup Eagles (7-4-1).

The Browns had just three close calls during that winning streak, beating the New York Giants 7-0, the San Francisco 49ers 23-21 and the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-16.

Cleveland almost got another crack at the 49ers in the league title game, but San Francisco finished second in the Western Conference at 9-3, just a game behind the 10-2 Lions.

The Browns did well against Eastern rivals New York and Pittsburgh in their other meetings with them, crushing the Giants 62-14 and rolling past the Steelers 34-16.

In their first six games, the Browns recorded two shutouts and kept four foes in single-digits scoring, outscoring those opponents by a whopping 155-37 margin.

Dante Lavelli, Darrel Brewster and Ray Renfro combined for 14 touchdown receptions, with Lavelli making a team-high 45 catches.

Otto Graham had his best quarterback rating in the NFL, 99.7, on the strength of 2,722 yards passing and 11 TDs with nine interceptions.

With running back Marion Motley winding down his Pro Football Hall of Fame career, the Browns didn't have a dominant rusher, but they made up for it by having three pretty good ones in wingback Renfro (352 yards), Harry "Chick" Jagade (344) and Billy Reynolds (313).

The Browns had 25 interceptions, with cornerbacks Warren Lahr and Tommy James, along with safety Ken Konz, getting five each. The other safety, Ken Gorgal, had four.

It once again underscores just how talented the Browns defense was back then, but few people noticed because of all the big names the team had on offense.

Great defense. Great offense. Great specialists in punter Horace Gillom and kicker Lou Groza, who made 23-of-26 field-goal attempts.

That would all seem to be enough to get a championship. But it wasn't. It fell just short -- agonizingly so for a Browns team that had gotten close for the third year in a row only to come away empty once again.

Steve King,
Staff Writer


YEAR RESULTS
Preseason Results
National Football League: 4-1-1
at San Francisco 49ers (36,273) 20-7
at Los Angeles Rams (21,440) 9-27
at Detroit Lions (39,985) 24-24
Baltimore Colts at Akron (20,000) 23-21
at Chicago Bears (36,796) 20-14
Green Bay Packers (22,336) 21-13
 
Regular Season Results
  Regular Season Playoffs Combined Record
League W L T PCT W L T PCT W L T PCT
NFL 11 1 0 .917 0 1 0 .000 11 2 0 .846
 
Postseason Results
NFL Championship Game
Date Opponent Result Score
12/27 at Detroit Lions Loss 16-17
 

Date Result Opponent Att.
9/27 W 27-0 at Green Bay Packers 22,604
10/4 W 27-7 at Chicago Cardinals 24,374
10/10 W 37-13 Philadelphia Eagles 45,802
10/18 W 30-14 at Washington Redskins 33,963
10/25 W 7-0 at New York Giants 30,773
11/1 W 27-3 Washington Redskins 47,845
11/8 W 34-16 Pittsburgh Steelers 35,592
11/15 W 23-21 San Francisco 49ers 80,698
11/22 W 20-16 at Pittsburgh Steelers 32,904
11/29 W 27-16 Chicago Cardinals 24,499
12/6 W 62-14 New York Giants 40,235
12/13 L 27-42 at Philadelphia Eagles 38,654
NFL Championship
12/27 L 16-17 at Detroit Lions 54,577

Score By Periods
1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Tot.
Browns 67 121 61 99 0 --- 348
Opponents 31 45 42 44 0 --- 162

Team Statistics
Browns Opponent
Total First Downs 213 206
Rushing 79 89
Passing 122 101
Penalty 12 16
Total Net Yards 4,534 3,575
Avg. Per Game 377.8 297.9
Total Plays 682 763
Avg. Per Play 6.6 4.7
Net Yards Rushing 1,577 1,560
Avg. Per Game 131.4 130
Total Rushes 379 374
Net Yards Passing 2,814 2,015
Avg. Per Game 234.5 167.9
Sacked/Yards Lost 0/245 0/256
Gross Yards 3,059 2,271
Attempts/Completions 303/191 389/164
Completion Pct. 63.00% 42.20%
Had Intercepted 9 25
Punts/Avg. 63/43.8 72/40.8
Net Punting Avg. 63/41.3 72/38.3
Penalties/Yards Lost 86/680 40/335
Fumbles/Ball Lost 27/15 25/16
Touchdowns 40 22
Rushing 20 11
Passing 16 10
Returns 4 1

Scoring
Ru Pa St Df PAT 2Ru 2Pa FG Saf TP
Groza, Lou 0 0 0 0 39/40 0 0 23/26 0 108
Renfro, Ray 4 4 1 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 54
Lavelli, Dante 0 6 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 36
Graham, Otto 6 0 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 36
Carpenter, Ken 3 2 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 30
Browns 20 16 1 3 39/40 0 0 23/26 0 348
Opponents 11 10 1 0 20/22 0 0 2/13 2 162

Rushing
No Yds Avg LG TD
Jagade, Harry 86 344 4 23 4
Reynolds, Billy 72 313 4.3 16 3
Renfro, Ray 60 352 5.9 58t 4
Carpenter, Ken 46 195 4.2 30 3
Graham, Otto 43 143 3.3 21 6
Browns 379 1,577 4.2 58t 20
Opponents 374 1,560 4.2 56 11

Receiving
No Yds Avg LG TD
Lavelli, Dante 45 783 17.4 55t 6
Renfro, Ray 39 722 18.5 70 4
Brewster, Darrel 32 632 19.8 45 4
Jones, Dub 24 373 15.5 58 0
Jagade, Harry 20 193 9.6 37 0
Browns 191 3,059 16 70 16
Opponents 164 2,271 13.8 77t 10

Interceptions
No Yds Avg LG TD
Lahr, Warren 5 119 23.8 42 0
James, Tommy 5 21 4.2 11 0
Konz, Ken 5 15 3 9 0
Gorgal, Ken 4 25 6.3 19 0
Thompson, Tommy 2 13 6.5 8 0
Browns 25 246 9.8 42 1
Opponents 9 94 10.4 28t 1

Punting
No Yds Avg In20 TB LG BLK
Gillom, Horace 63 2,760 43.8 0 4 67 0
Browns 63 2,760 43.8 0 4 67 0
Opponents 72 2,934 40.8 0 5 61 0

Punt Returns
No FC Yds Avg LG TD
Reynolds, Billy 18 0 111 6.2 28 0
Renfro, Ray 17 0 53 3.1 16 0
Jones, Dub 1 0 7 7 7 0
Konz, Ken 1 0 4 4 4 0
Carpenter, Ken 6 0 0 0 0 0
Browns 43 0 175 4.1 28 0
Opponents 35 0 156 4.5 17 0

Kickoff Returns
No Yds Avg LG TD
Carpenter, Ken 16 367 22.9 40 0
Reynolds, Billy 4 74 18.5 21 0
Motley, Marion 3 60 20 22 0
Michaels, Walt 2 40 20 22 0
Steinbrunner, Don 1 23 23 23 0
Browns 30 579 19.3 40 0
Opponents 46 1,114 24.2 49 0

Field Goals
1-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+ Tot

Passing
Att Cmp Yds Pct Av/At TD Td% Int Int% LG Tkld Rating
Graham, Otto 258 167 2,722 64.7 10.55 11 4.3 9 3.5 70 0/245 99.7
Ratterman, George 41 23 325 56.1 7.93 4 9.8 0 0 45 0/0 114.4
Renfro, Ray 3 1 36 33.3 12 1 33.3 0 0 36t 0/0 119.4
Jones, Dub 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 39.6
Browns 303 191 3,083 63 10.17 16 5.3 9 3 70 0/245 102.2
Opponents 389 164 2,271 42.2 5.84 10 2.6 25 6.4 77t 0/256 43.3