History

History: 1955


Team Photo

The 1955 season began in rough fashion for the Browns, with the defending world champions losing 27-17 at home in the opener to the Washington Redskins, who would have their best season in a decade by finishing second in the Eastern Conference at 8-4.

But once Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Otto Graham got back on track, so did the Browns.

With Graham, who had been lured out of retirement when the team experienced problems at that position in training camp, leading the way, the Browns then went on to win six in a row and nine of their last 11 to finish 9-2-1 and capture the conference title for the sixth straight year.

The Browns then blasted the host Los Angeles Rams 38-14 in the league title game, after which Graham retired again - this time for good, ending the club's remarkable first decade of existence in which it played in the league championship contest all 10 times and won seven crowns.

The Browns really caught fire offensively in the last five games. Including the title contest, they averaged 37.8 points per outing during that span, in which they won four times and played to a 35-35 tie with the New York Giants.

Also, earlier in the year, they won the important rematch with the Redskins, 24-14.

On the season, Graham threw for 15 touchdowns with just eight interceptions for a 94.0 quarterback rating, the second-best mark of his six-year NFL career.

The Browns had three receivers with 29 or more catches, combining for 18 TDs. Darrel Brewster was tops in receptions with 34, with Ray Renfro leading the way in scores with eight.

Plus the Browns had something they hadn't had since their first year in the NFL -- that is, a big-yardage running back. Fred "Curly" Morrison rushed for 824 yards, the most by a Brown since the team joined the league in 1950. Hall of Famer Marion Motley had 810 yards that year.

But as good as the Browns were offensively, they were just as good -- or maybe even better -- defensively. They gave up 218 points, or an average of 18.2 per game. During the aforementioned six-game winning streak that got the team jump-started, they surrendered an average of just 13 points per contest.

The Browns averaged more than two interceptions per game on the year, getting 25 in all. Three players - linebacker and later Pittsburgh Steelers HOF head coach Chuck Noll, cornerback Warren Lahr and safety Ken Konz -- had five each, with cornerback Don Paul adding four.

After all that, then, it was fitting that the Browns end the season -- and their remarkable decade of accomplishments -- with the resounding win over the Rams. Like he had done the year before in the championship game in the 56-10 rout of the Detroit Lions, Graham took over, passing for two TDs and running for two more.

That gave him a combined total of 10 TDs -- split evenly between passes and runs -- in those two contests and helped pave the way for him to be a shoo-in selection to the HOF 10 years later.

Steve King,
Staff Writer


YEAR RESULTS
Preseason Results
National Football League: 1-5
College All-Stars (75,000) 27-30
Green Bay Packers at Akron (22,000) 13-7
at San Francisco 49ers (41,604) 14-17
Los Angeles Rams (35,948) 21-38
Detroit Lions (29,581) 3-19
at Chicago Bears (43,067) 21-24
 
Regular Season Results
  Regular Season Playoffs Combined Record
League W L T PCT W L T PCT W L T PCT
NFL 9 2 1 .818 1 0 0 1.000 10 2 1 .833
 
Postseason Results
NFL Championship Game
Date Opponent Result Score
12/26 at Los Angeles Rams Win 38-14
 

Date Result Opponent Att.
9/25 L 17-27 Washington Redskins 30,041
10/2 W 38-3 at San Francisco 49ers 46,150
10/9 W 21-17 Philadelphia Eagles 43,974
10/16 W 24-14 at Washington Redskins 29,168
10/23 W 41-10 Green Bay Packers 51,482
10/30 W 26-20 at Chicago Cardinals 29,471
11/6 W 24-14 New York Giants 46,524
11/13 L 17-33 at Philadelphia Eagles 39,303
11/20 W 41-14 Pittsburgh Steelers 53,509
11/27 T 35-35 at New York Giants 45,699
12/4 W 30-7 at Pittsburgh Steelers 31,101
12/11 W 35-24 Chicago Cardinals 25,914
NFL Championship
12/26 W 38-14 at Los Angeles Rams 87,695

Score By Periods
1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Tot.
Browns 72 96 91 90 0 --- 349
Opponents 46 67 39 66 0 --- 218

Team Statistics
Browns Opponent
Total First Downs 224 171
Rushing 111 65
Passing 98 83
Penalty 15 23
Total Net Yards 3,978 2,841
Avg. Per Game 331.5 236.8
Total Plays 768 674
Avg. Per Play 5.2 4.2
Net Yards Rushing 2,020 1,189
Avg. Per Game 168.3 99.1
Total Rushes 536 351
Net Yards Passing 1,950 1,652
Avg. Per Game 162.5 137.7
Sacked/Yards Lost 0/275 0/123
Gross Yards 2,225 1,775
Attempts/Completions 234/130 323/126
Completion Pct. 55.60% 39.00%
Had Intercepted 11 25
Punts/Avg. 58/41.2 71/39.2
Net Punting Avg. 58/38.0 71/34.4
Penalties/Yards Lost 64/603 58/560
Fumbles/Ball Lost 27/17 21/15
Touchdowns 45 29
Rushing 20 9
Passing 21 15
Returns 4 5

Scoring
Ru Pa St Df PAT 2Ru 2Pa FG Saf TP
Groza, Lou 0 0 0 0 44/45 0 0 11/22 0 77
Modzelewski, Ed 6 2 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 48
Renfro, Ray 0 8 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 48
Brewster, Darrel 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
Browns 20 21 1 3 44/45 0 0 11/22 1 349
Opponents 9 15 5 0 23/29 0 0 7/15 0 218

Rushing
No Yds Avg LG TD
Modzelewski, Ed 185 619 3.3 25 6
Morrison, Fred 156 824 5.3 56 3
Graham, Otto 68 141 2.1 36 6
Bassett, Maurice 38 174 4.6 30t 3
Smith, Robert 37 142 3.8 31t 1
Browns 536 2,040 3.8 56 20
Opponents 351 1,189 3.4 38 9

Receiving
No Yds Avg LG TD
Brewster, Darrel 34 622 18.3 41t 6
Lavelli, Dante 31 492 15.9 49 4
Renfro, Ray 29 603 20.8 61t 8
Modzelewski, Ed 13 113 8.7 28t 2
Morrison, Fred 9 185 20.6 49 0
Browns 130 2,225 17.1 61t 21
Opponents 126 1,775 14.1 71t 15

Interceptions
No Yds Avg LG TD
Noll, Chuck 5 74 14.8 24 1
Lahr, Warren 5 52 10.4 24 0
Konz, Ken 5 32 6.4 15t 1
Paul, Don 4 49 12.3 19 0
James, Tommy 2 20 10 16 0
Browns 25 287 11.5 25t 3
Opponents 11 181 16.5 40t 1

Punting
No Yds Avg In20 TB LG BLK
Gillom, Horace 58 2,389 41.2 0 6 56 3
Browns 58 2,389 41.2 0 6 56 3
Opponents 71 2,781 39.2 0 2 63 1

Punt Returns
No FC Yds Avg LG TD
Paul, Don 19 0 148 7.8 60t 1
Konz, Ken 17 0 138 8.1 42 0
White, Bob 2 0 28 14 28 0
Ford, Henry 4 0 15 3.8 7 0
Smith, Robert 1 0 5 5 5 0
Browns 44 0 337 7.7 60t 1
Opponents 37 0 186 5 78t 1

Kickoff Returns
No Yds Avg LG TD
Smith, Robert 13 320 24.6 47 0
White, Bob 10 258 25.8 44 0
Bassett, Maurice 7 151 21.6 31 0
Paul, Don 5 109 21.8 26 0
Konz, Ken 3 66 22 23 0
Browns 41 949 23.1 47 0
Opponents 50 1,220 24.4 100t 1

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 185 98 1,721 53 9.3 15 8.1 8 4.3 61t 0/241 94
Ratterman, George 47 32 504 68.1 10.72 6 12.8 3 6.4 35 0/34 116.5
Renfro, Ray 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 39.6
Browns 234 130 2,225 55.6 9.51 21 9 11 4.7 61t 0/275 98.3
Opponents 323 126 1,775 39 5.5 15 4.6 25 7.7 71t 0/123 40.7