History

Year by Year Results: 1983

While 1979 marked the birth of the Kardiac Kids, 1983 signaled their end.

Like 1979, the '83 club finished 9-7 and just out of the playoffs, being eliminated on the final day of the regular season. The difference was that in 1979, the Kids were - well, kids. By 1983, their careers were ending.

Plus, the 1983 team didn't play nearly as many close games as the Browns had in '79. There were just seven contests decided by seven points or less, with the Browns going 4-3.

Still, when it was all added up, the points over the course of the season were very close. The Browns scored 356 to their opponents' 342.

Mike Pruitt, in his last great season with the Browns, rushed for 1,184 yards.

In his swan song in Cleveland, wide receiver Dave Logan was second on the team in receptions with 37, but that was far behind the team-record 89 hauled in by Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome.

Quarterback Brian Sipe, in his last season with the Browns before jumping to the USFL, had 26 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions, nearly the same ratio (28-to-26) he had had in 1979. It was a good way to go out for Sipe, who had lost his starting job to Paul McDonald late in the 1982 season and then re-gained it in the '83 training camp.

The Browns' mindset in 1983 was much different than had it had been in '79. In 1979, the Browns were on the way up, looking for big things after an encouraging 8-8 finish the year before. But in 1983, the Browns set out to try to get past the disappointments of the previous two seasons.

In 1981, the Browns reversed their 1980 season record-wise -- exactly -- and finished 5-11. In the strike-shortened 1982 season, they got the last AFC playoff spot in what was called the Super Bowl Tournament with a 4-5 mark, and then got bounced out in the first round by the Los Angeles Raiders.

Led by Sipe's passing, the Browns finished the 1983 preseason 3-1 and then won three of their first four regular-season games, providing a ton of hope. Two of the regular-season victories were in typical Kardiac Kids fashion, coming by 31-26 over the Detroit Lions and 30-24 over the San Diego Chargers in overtime.

That was followed, though, by a stretch in which the Browns dropped four of six, winning two more like true Kids (10-7 over the New York Jets and 25-19 over the Houston Oilers in OT), but getting handled easily in three of the four defeats (24-9 to the Seattle Seahawks, 44-17 to the Pittsburgh Steelers and 35-21 to the Green Bay Packers).

Then, just when it seemed the season was lost following that lackluster loss to Green Bay, putting the Browns at 5-5, they caught fire, beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-0 and New England Patriots 30-0 to post back-to-back shutouts for only the second time in club history.

Add to that a 41-23 win over the Baltimore Colts, and the 8-5 Browns had turned their fortunes around and seemed well on their way to the playoffs.

But, just like 1979, the Browns suffered devastating back-to-back losses near the end to keep them out of the postseason, this time to the Denver Broncos 27-6 and the woeful Oilers 34-27.

They still had a shot on the final day to get a wild-card berth, and stayed alive with a 30-17 home win over the Steelers. But they lost out on tie-breakers later in the evening.

It was the last hurrah for the Kardiac Kids - and for coach Sam Rutigliano. Rutigliano, who was in just his second season in 1979, was in his next-to-last campaign in 1983. He was fired midway through the following year, and the last real link to the Kids was gone.

Steve King,
Staff Writer

Year Results
Preseason Results
National Football League: 3-1
at Green Bay Packers (41,866) 21-20
at Buffalo Bills (25,886) 27-10
at Denver Broncos (73,244) 10-19
Los Angeles Raiders (61,844) 20-17
Regular Season Results
  Regular Season Playoffs Combined Record
League W L T PCT W L T PCT W L T PCT
NFL 9 7 0 .563 0 0 0 .000 9 7 0 .563
Date Result Opponent Att.
9/4 L21-27 Minnesota Vikings 70,087
9/11 W31-26 at Detroit Lions 60,095
9/15 W17-7 Cincinnati Bengals 79,700
9/25 W30-24 at San Diego Chargers (OT) 49,482
10/2 L10-24 Seattle Seahawks 75,446
10/9 W9-7 New York Jets 78,235
10/16 L17-44 at Pittsburgh Steelers 59,263
10/23 L21-28 at Cincinnati Bengals 50,047
10/30 W25-19 Houston Oilers (OT) 66,955
11/6 L21-35 at Green Bay Packers 54,089
11/13 W20-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 56,091
11/20 W30-0 at New England Patriots 40,987
11/27 W41-23 Baltimore Colts 65,812
12/4 L6-27 at Denver Broncos 70,912
12/11 L27-34 at Houston Oilers 29,746
12/18 W30-17 Pittsburgh Steelers 72,313
Score By Periods
1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Tot.
Browns 76 120 82 66 12 --- 356
Opponents 70 125 63 84 0 --- 342
Team Statistics
Browns Opponent
Total First Downs 327 309
Rushing 113 138
Passing 186 155
Penalty 28 16
3rd Down: Made/Att 99/222 82/204
3rd Down Pct. 44.60% 40.20%
4th Down: Made/Att 8/16 4/14
4th Down Pct. 50.00% 28.60%
Total Net Yards 5,583 5,139
Avg. Per Game 348.9 321.2
Total Plays 1,065 1,030
Avg. Per Play 5.2 5
Net Yards Rushing 1,922 2,065
Avg. Per Game 120.1 129.1
Total Rushes 465 528
Net Yards Passing 3,661 3,074
Avg. Per Game 228.8 192.1
Sacked/Yards Lost 33/271 33/239
Gross Yards 3,932 3,313
Attempts/Completions 567/324 469/280
Completion Pct. 57.10% 59.70%
Had Intercepted 28 22
Punts/Avg. 70/40.8 73/40.5
Net Punting Avg. 70/36.4 73/36.2
Penalties/Yards Lost 115/988 105/940
Fumbles/Ball Lost 21/10 30/10
Touchdowns 42 42
Scoring
Ru Pa St Df PAT 2Ru 2Pa FG Saf TP
Bahr, Matt 0 0 0 0 38/40 0 0 21/24 0 101
Pruitt, Mike 10 2 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 72
Newsome, Ozzie 0 6 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 36
Jones, Bobby 0 4 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 24
Green, Boyce 3 1 0 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0 24
Browns 13 27 0 2 38/40 0 0 22/25 0 356
Opponents 15 22 5 0 40/42 0 0 16/22 1 342
Rushing
No Yds Avg LG TD
Pruitt, Mike 293 1,184 4 27 10
Green, Boyce 104 497 4.8 29 3
Sipe, Brian 26 56 2.2 9 0
Walker, Dwight 19 100 5.3 15 0
Davis, Johnny 13 42 3.2 16 0
Browns 465 1,922 4.1 29 13
Opponents 528 2,065 3.9 40 15
Receiving
No Yds Avg LG TD
Newsome, Ozzie 89 970 10.9 66t 6
Logan, Dave 37 627 16.9 34 2
Jones, Bobby 36 507 14.1 32t 4
Pruitt, Mike 30 157 5.2 21 2
Holt, Harry 29 420 14.5 48t 3
Browns 324 3,932 12.1 66t 27
Opponents 280 3,312 11.8 80t 22
Interceptions
No Yds Avg LG TD
Cousineau, Tom 4 47 11.8 15 0
Banks, Chip 3 95 31.7 65t 1
Whitwell, Mike 3 67 22.3 28 0
Dixon, Hanford 3 41 13.7 35 0
Burrell, Clinton 2 0 0 0 0
Browns 22 296 13.5 65t 2
Opponents 28 508 18.1 73t 0
Punting
No Yds Avg In20 TB LG BLK
Gossett, Jeff 70 2,854 40.8 17 8 60 0
Browns 70 2,854 40.8 17 8 60 0
Opponents 73 2,954 40.5 18 5 61 0
Punt Returns
No FC Yds Avg LG TD
Hall, Dino 39 12 284 7.3 19 0
Walker, Dwight 3 0 26 8.7 13 0
Browns 42 12 310 7.4 19 0
Opponents 30 10 309 10.3 66 0
Kickoff Returns
No Yds Avg LG TD
Walker, Dwight 29 627 21.6 38 0
Green, Boyce 17 350 20.6 30 0
Hall, Dino 11 237 21.5 28 0
Ferguson, Vagas 2 36 18 27 0
Nicolas, Scott 2 29 14.5 15 0
Browns 63 1,290 20.5 38 0
Opponents 61 1,155 18.9 93t 0
Field Goals
1-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+ Tot
Bahr, Matt 1/1 9/9 5/6 6/7 0/1 21/24
Cox, Steve 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1/1 1/1
Browns 1/1 9/9 5/6 6/7 22/25 22/25
Opponents 2/2 5/6 4/6 2/5 14/20 14/20
Passing
Att Cmp Yds Pct Av/At TD Td% Int Int% LG Tkld Rating
Sipe, Brian 496 291 3,566 58.7 7.19 26 5.2 23 4.6 66t 27/233 79.1
McDonald, Paul 68 32 351 47.1 5.16 1 1.5 4 5.9 27 6/38 43.2
Walker, Dwight 3 1 25 33.3 8.33 0 0 1 33.3 25 0/0 25
Browns 567 324 3,942 57.1 6.95 27 4.8 28 4.9 66t 33/271 74
Opponents 469 280 3,313 59.7 7.06 21 4.5 22 4.7 80t 32/239 76.6