History

History: 1957


Team Photo

The Browns got back on track in 1957.

Then, in the most important game of the season, they were derailed.

The Detroit Lions, victims of a 56-10 crushing by the Browns in the 1954 NFL Championship Game, turned the tables and beat Cleveland 59-14 in the '57 title contest. It still ranks as one of the most lopsided defeats in Browns history.

It was a sour ending to what had been a great season for the Browns. After missing the playoffs in 1956, ending a string of 10 straight years in which they had advanced to the league championship game, the Browns came storming back to finish 9-2-1 and win the Eastern Conference title by a relatively healthy margin over the defending world champion New York Giants (7-5).

The Browns took care of business against the Giants, "bookending," as it were, their arch rivals. They beat New York 6-3 in the season opener and then edged them again 34-28 in the finale.

Cleveland also posted two shutouts on the year, 24-0 over the Pittsburgh Steelers and 31-0 over the Chicago Cardinals.

Ironically, the Eastern foe the Browns had the most trouble with was fourth-place Washington (5-6-1). Cleveland edged the Redskins 21-17 and then had to settle for a 30-30 tie in the rematch.

Once again, the Browns fell to Detroit 20-7, making them 0-3 against the Lions in the regular season since joining the NFL in 1950.

Although they had a rookie running back by the name of Jim Brown, the Browns were by no means an offensive juggernaut overall. The eventual Pro Football Hall of Famer was outstanding, rushing for 942 yards and nine TDs, but he was the only real standout that year.

Tommy O'Connell, who had taken over for retired Hall of Famer Otto Graham in 1956 and was the quarterback during the 5-7 finish that year, had the job for most of the way in '57 as well. He and rookie Milt Plum combined for just 1,873 yards passing 12 touchdowns with 14 interceptions.

The leading receiver was wideout Darrel Brewster with only 30 catches.

The most explosive target in the passing game was Ray Renfro, who averaged 28.0 yards per catch on his 21 receptions.

Rather, then, it was the defense that led the team, surrendering just 172 points all year, or an average of only 14.3 per game. In the first seven contests of the year, the Browns gave up only 63 points (9.0).

Hall of Fame right end Len Ford was in his last year with the Browns. The club had a "head coaching" linebackers corps with Chuck Noll, who went on to a Hall of Fame head coaching career with the Steelers, on the left side, and Walt Michaels, who spent the better part of two decades as a coach with the New York Jets, including six seasons as head coach, on the right side.

Steve King,
Staff Writer


YEAR RESULTS
Preseason Results
National Football League: 2-4
at Detroit Lions (40,150) 10-20
Pittsburgh Steelers at Akron (26,669) 28-13
at San Francisco 49ers (32,840) 17-21
at Los Angeles Rams (45,011) 14-20
Detroit Lions (34,369) 23-7
at Chicago Bears (47,354) 3-29
 
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 0 1 0 .000 9 3 1 .750
 
Postseason Results
NFL Championship Game
Date Opponent Result Score
12/29 at Detroit Lions Loss

14-59

 

Date Result Opponent Att.
9/29 W 6-3 New York Giants 58,095
10/5 W 23-12 at Pittsburgh Steelers 35,570
10/13 W 24-7 Philadelphia Eagles 53,493
10/20 L 7-17 at Philadelphia Eagles 22,443
10/27 W 17-7 at Chicago Cardinals 26,341
11/3 W 21-17 Washington Redskins 52,936
11/10 W 24-0 Pittsburgh Steelers 53,709
11/17 T 30-30 at Washington Redskins 27,722
11/24 W 45-31 Los Angeles Rams 65,407
12/1 W 31-0 Chicago Cardinals 40,525
12/8 L 7-20 at Detroit Lions 55,814
12/15 W 34-28 at New York Giants 54,294
NFL Championship
12/29 L 14-59 at Detroit Lions 55,263

Score By Periods
1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Tot.
Browns 54 60 76 79 0 --- 269
Opponents 27 57 30 58 0 --- 172

Team Statistics
Browns Opponent
Total First Downs 180 164
Rushing 93 79
Passing 76 66
Penalty 11 19
Total Net Yards 3,670 2,802
Avg. Per Game 305.8 233.5
Total Plays 696 638
Avg. Per Play 5.3 4.4
Net Yards Rushing 1,958 1,502
Avg. Per Game 163.2 125.2
Total Rushes 501 396
Net Yards Passing 1,712 1,300
Avg. Per Game 142.7 108.3
Sacked/Yards Lost 0/161 0/211
Gross Yards 1,873 1,511
Attempts/Completions 195/108 242/105
Completion Pct. 55.40% 43.40%
Had Intercepted 14 19
Punts/Avg. 61/39.3 72/41.8
Net Punting Avg. 61/34.1 72/38.5
Penalties/Yards Lost 66/597 42/412
Fumbles/Ball Lost 19/10 20/12
Touchdowns 32 22
Rushing 19 11
Passing 12 8
Returns 1 3

Scoring
Ru Pa St Df PAT 2Ru 2Pa FG Saf TP
Groza, Lou 0 0 0 0 32/32 0 0 15/22 0 77
Brown, Jim 9 1 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 60
Renfro, Ray 0 6 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 36
Carpenter, Lew 4 0 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 24
Hanulak, Chet 3 0 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 18
Browns 19 12 0 1 32/32 0 0 15/22 0 269
Opponents 11 8 3 0 19/22 0 0 7/14 0 172

Rushing
No Yds Avg LG TD
Brown, Jim 202 942 4.7 69t 9
Hanulak, Chet 125 375 3 64t 3
Carpenter, Lew 83 315 3.8 55 4
Reynolds, Billy 29 57 2 8 1
Plum, Milt 26 118 4.5 30 0
Browns 501 1,968 3.9 69t 19
Opponents 396 1,502 3.8 59 11

Receiving
No Yds Avg LG TD
Brewster, Darrel 30 614 20.5 56 2
Carpenter, Preston 27 398 14.7 33 2
Renfro, Ray 21 589 28 65t 6
Brown, Jim 16 55 3.4 12 1
Carpenter, Lew 5 65 13 21 0
Browns 108 1,873 17.3 65t 12
Opponents 105 1,511 14.4 63 8

Interceptions
No Yds Avg LG TD
Paul, Don 4 28 7 12 0
Konz, Ken 4 20 5 16 0
Freeman, Bob 3 46 15.3 25 0
Wren, Junior 2 73 36.5 43 0
Costello, Vince 2 19 9.5 12 0
Browns 19 223 11.7 43 0
Opponents 14 141 10.1 65t 1

Punting
No Yds Avg In20 TB LG BLK
Konz, Ken 61 2,396 39.3 0 3 63 1
Browns 61 2,396 39.3 0 3 63 1
Opponents 72 3,006 41.8 0 1 63 0

Punt Returns
No FC Yds Avg LG TD
Reynolds, Billy 24 0 114 4.8 23 0
Paul, Don 9 0 75 8.3 32 0
Hanulak, Chet 11 0 29 2.6 11 0
Konz, Ken 3 0 13 4.3 7 0
Robinson, Fred 1 0 0 0 0 0
Browns 48 0 231 4.8 32 0
Opponents 47 0 315 6.7 58t 1

Kickoff Returns
No Yds Avg LG TD
Campbell, Milton 11 263 23.9 36 0
Reynolds, Billy 7 152 21.7 29 0
Brown, Jim 6 136 22.7 29 0
Modzelewski, Ed 5 74 14.8 18 0
Clarke, Frank 2 22 11 13 0
Browns 33 686 20.8 36 0
Opponents 42 917 21.8 50 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
O'Connell, Tom 110 63 1,229 57.3 11.17 9 8.2 8 7.3 65t 0/56 93.3
Plum, Milt 76 41 590 53.9 7.76 2 2.6 5 6.6 58t 0/85 60.7
Hanulak, Chet 2 1 32 50 16 1 50 0 0 32t 0/0 135.4
Borton, John 6 3 22 50 3.67 0 0 1 16.7 8 0/20 19.4
Campbell, Milton 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 39.6
Browns 195 108 1,873 55.4 9.61 12 6.2 14 7.2 65t 0/161 78.9
Opponents 242 105 1,511 43.4 6.24 8 3.3 19 7.9 63 0/211 42.6