6 History of the National Football League championship
Throughout its history, the National Football League (NFL) and other rival American football leagues have used several different formats to determine their league champions, including a period of inter-league matchups determining a true national champion.More
After winning all five of their preseason games, the Browns faced the two-time defending champion Philadelphia Eagles in their first regular-season game. Many sportswriters and owners considered the Browns inferior despite their success in the AAFC, calling them the dominant team in a minor league, but Cleveland defeated Philadelphia 35–10, the first of 10 victories on the season. Cleveland's only two losses came against the New York Giants, with whom the team shared a 10–2 record at the end of the regular season.
The tie forced a playoff to determine whether the Browns or Giants would win the American Conference and play in the championship game. Cleveland won the playoff 8–3 in freezing weather at Cleveland Stadium. A week later, on Christmas Eve, the Browns faced the Rams at home in the championship. Cleveland fell behind 28–20 in the fourth quarter against the Rams' potent offense, but quarterbackOtto Graham engineered a comeback with a touchdown pass to Rex Bumgardner and a long drive that set up a winning field goal by Lou Groza with 28 seconds left to play. It was the first of six straight NFL championship appearances for the Browns. Cleveland fullbackMarion Motley led the NFL in rushing, and seven Browns were selected to play in the first-ever Pro Bowl, the league's all-star game.
1950 Cleveland Browns season Intro articles: 17
17 1951 Pro Bowl
The 1951 Pro Bowl was the National Football League's inaugural Pro Bowl which featured the league's outstanding performers from the 1950 season. The game was played on Sunday, January 14, 1951, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 53,676 fans. The American Conference squad defeated the National Conference by a score of 28–27. The player were selected by a vote of each conferences coaches along with the sports editors of the newspapers in the Los Angeles area, where the game was contested.More
Joining the NFL
The Cleveland Browns were founded and started play in 1946 in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), a league formed to compete with the more established National Football League (NFL). The team was a success both financially and on the field under head coach Paul Brown, drawing large crowds and winning all four of the AAFC's championships between 1946 and 1949. In a bid to end a competition for talent that raised player salaries and ate into owners' profits at a time when attendance in many large markets was declining, the NFL and AAFC agreed to a peace deal at the end of the 1949 season. Under the deal, four of the AAFC's seven teams were to go out of business, while three of them – the Browns, Baltimore Colts and San Francisco 49ers – would play in the NFL starting in 1950.
Cleveland had been the AAFC's most successful team, but some NFL owners and sportswriters considered the Browns an inferior competitor – the top team in a lesser league.George Preston Marshall, the owner of the Washington Redskins, said the NFL's weakest team "could toy with the Browns". The AAFC had proposed an inter-league matchup between the AAFC and NFL champions in each year of its existence, but the NFL owners rebuffed those approaches each time. The Browns' entry into the NFL thus became the first time the team would be tested against NFL competition. NFL commissioner Bert Bell scheduled the team's first game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the two-time defending NFL champions. The Browns and Eagles were to play in Philadelphia on a Saturday, one day before the other NFL teams began their seasons, further spotlighting the matchup.
1950 Cleveland Browns season Joining the NFL articles: 4
Offseason and roster moves
The dissolution of the AAFC left 13 professional football teams in the U.S., a significant reduction from the 17 in existence the year before. That resulted in a large pool of players without teams. As part of the AAFC and NFL owners' peace deal, the Browns and the AAFC's Buffalo Bills reached an agreement under which the Browns would get the rights to guardAbe Gibron, defensive tackleJohn Kissell and halfbackRex Bumgardner. In exchange, Bills owner James Breuil got an ownership stake in the Browns. Similar deals were made between former AAFC owners and NFL teams in Los Angeles and New York City. The players left over after those deals were entered into a special draft from which the Browns selected defensive endLen Ford from the Los Angeles Dons and linebackerHal Herring from the Bills. Gibron went on to a 10-year pro career, Kissell was a starter for the Browns for six seasons, and Herring played for three years. Ford, a tall and hard-hitting pass-rusher, became one of the top defensive ends of his era. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976.
The Browns also tried to acquire Doak Walker, a Southern Methodist University back who had won the Heisman Trophy the previous year. Cleveland had chosen Walker in the 1949 AAFC Draft, while the Detroit Lions had secured his NFL rights in a trade with the New York Bulldogs. Both teams claimed him after the Browns entered the NFL, leading to a dispute that was settled by giving Walker to Detroit and awarding Cleveland an extra second-round draft pick. Cleveland used the pick to select Sandusky, while Walker went on to have a hall-of-fame career with the Lions.
The 1950 season was one of major change for the Browns, with seven rookies on the roster and 12 new players overall. They joined an offense that featured quarterbackOtto Graham, fullback Marion Motley and endsMac Speedie and Dante Lavelli and a defense that featured linebacker Bill Willis and defensive back Warren Lahr. Two of the new players – Ford and Cole – were African-Americans, joining Willis, Motley and Horace Gillom to bring the number of black players on the team to five. With the additions, the Browns employed about a third of all the black players in the NFL at the time.
1950 Cleveland Browns season Offseason and roster moves articles: 73
1 Buffalo Bills (AAFC)
The Buffalo Bills were an American football team, based in Buffalo, New York, that played in the All-America Football Conference from 1946 to 1949. During its first season in 1946, the team was known as the Buffalo Bisons. Unlike the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and Baltimore Colts, the franchise was not one of the three AAFC teams that merged with the National Football League prior to the 1950 season. It was named after Buffalo Bill.More
5 1950 AAFC dispersal draft
On December 9, 1949, the National Football League absorbed three teams from the All-America Football Conference.More
8 Hal Herring
Harold Moreland "Hal" Herring was an American football player and coach. He played college football at Auburn University and professionally as a center and linebacker for the Buffalo Bills in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and the Cleveland Browns in the National Football League (NFL). He later was a defensive coach at Auburn and for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and San Diego Chargers.More
9 1950 NFL Draft
The 1950 National Football League Draft was held January 20–21, 1950, at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia.More
12 Emerson Cole
Emerson Elvin Cole was an American football fullback and linebacker who played for the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears in the National Football League in the early 1950s. He played college football at the University of Toledo, and still held the school record for rushing yards in a single season, with 1,162, as of 2013.More
19 Ken Gorgal
Kenneth Robert Gorgal was an American football safety who played in the National Football League for the Cleveland Browns, the Chicago Bears, and the Green Bay Packers in the 1950s. He played college football at Purdue University.More
26 1949 AAFC Draft
The 1949 AAFC Draft was the third and last collegiate draft of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). The teams traded draft choices for the first time in league history. New York sent their first round pick to Chicago, which selected Pete Elliott. Brooklyn traded their second round pick to New York, which selected Lou Kusserow. Chicago traded their third round pick to Buffalo, which selected Hugh Keeney.More
37 1952 Pro Bowl
The 1952 Pro Bowl was the NFL's second annual all-star game which featured the league's outstanding performers from the 1951 season. The game was played on January 12, 1952, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 19,400 fans. The National Conference squad defeated the American Conference by a score of 30–13.More
The 1950 Detroit Lions season was their 21st in the league. The team improved on their previous season's output of 4–8, winning six games. They failed to qualify for the playoffs for the 15th consecutive season.More
42 1962 Pro Bowl
The 1962 Pro Bowl was the National Football League's twelfth annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1961 season. The game was played on January 14, 1962, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 57,409 fans.More
50 Jim Duncan (defensive end)
James Hampton Duncan was an American gridiron football player and coach.More
60 Butch Songin
Edward F. "Butch" Songin was a quarterback for the Boston College Eagles, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Rugby Union, and for the American Football League's Boston Patriots and the New York Titans. He also was an All-American defenseman for the BC Eagles ice hockey team.More
70 Bob Schnelker
Robert Bernard Schnelker was an American football tight end who played for nine seasons in the National Football League, mainly with the New York Giants. Schnelker played college football at Bowling Green State University and was drafted in the 29th round of the 1950 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. Schnelker was a two-time Pro Bowler and a member of the 1956 NFL Champion Giants. After retiring from football, he was an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings. He died on December 12, 2016 in Naples, Florida.More
71 1959 Pro Bowl
The 1959 Pro Bowl was the NFL's ninth annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1958 season. The game was played on January 11, 1959, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 72,250 fans. The final score was East 28, West 21.More
72 1960 Pro Bowl
The 1960 Pro Bowl was the NFL's tenth annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1959 season. The game was played on Saturday, January 17, 1960, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 58,876. The final score was West 38, East 21.More
1950 Cleveland Browns season Roster and coaching staff articles: 27
17 1950 Chicago Cardinals season
The 1950 Chicago Cardinals season was the 31st season the team was in the league. The team failed to improve on their previous output of 6–5–1, winning only five games. They failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second consecutive season.More
18 1950 New York Giants season
The 1950 New York Giants season was the franchise's 26th season in the National Football League.More
19 1950 Philadelphia Eagles season
The 1950 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 18th in the league. The team failed to improve on their previous output of 11–1, winning only six games. The team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.More
20 1950 Pittsburgh Steelers season
The 1950 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 18th season in the National Football League (NFL). It was the team's third season under head coach John Michelosen who had led the team to a combined 10–13–1 record over the previous two years.More
21 1950 Washington Redskins season
The 1950 Washington Redskins season was the franchise's 19th season in the National Football League (NFL) and their 7th in Washington, D.C.. The team failed to improve on their 4–7–1 record from 1949 and finished 3-9.More
22 1950 Baltimore Colts season
The 1950 Baltimore Colts season was their fourth as a franchise and only season in the National Football League.More
23 1950 Chicago Bears season
The 1950 season was the Chicago Bears' 31st in the National Football League. The team matched on their 9–3 record from 1949 under head coach and owner George Halas, tied for first in the National Conference with the Los Angeles Rams, whom they had defeated twice in the regular season. They met in a tiebreaker playoff, won by the Rams, who advanced to the NFL Championship Game.More
24 1950 Green Bay Packers season
The 1950 Green Bay Packers season was their 32nd season overall and their 30th season in the National Football League. The team finished with a 3–9 record under first-year head coach Gene Ronzani for a fifth-place finish in the National Conference.More
26 1950 New York Yanks season
The 1950 New York Yanks season was their first as the Yanks. The team improved on their previous season's output of 1–10–1, winning seven games. Their games were particularly high scoring; in seven of their twelve games, forty or more points were scored by a single team.More
27 1950 San Francisco 49ers season
The 1950 San Francisco 49ers season was the franchise's 1st season in the National Football League and their 5th overall. After playing the previous four years in the All-America Football Conference, which folded after the 1949 season, the 49ers, Baltimore Colts, and Cleveland Browns all joined the NFL from the AAFC.More
The Browns beat the Green Bay Packers 38–7 in their first preseason game, played before a crowd of about 10,000 at the Toledo, OhioGlass Bowl. The Packers got out to an early 7–0 lead on their first drive, a 73-yard advance capped by a touchdown pass to Ted Cook. Cleveland responded with a touchdown from quarterback Otto Graham to end Dante Lavelli on the ensuing drive, tying the score. Cleveland's Alex Agase blocked a punt later in the quarter that set up a Lou Groza field goal on the first play of the second quarter. Lavelli caught another touchdown pass from Graham to give the Browns a 24–7 halftime lead. While Brown rested Graham for most of the second half of the game, the Browns built on their lead with an 87-yard rushing touchdown by rookie Don Phelps and another score by Rex Bumgardner. Phelps suffered a head injury in the game and did not remember making the run, the longest rush from scrimmage in team history to that point. He got X-rays after the game and spent two nights in the hospital after being diagnosed with a mild concussion. Brown was pleased with the team's performance after just three weeks of training camp, saying Phelps "looked a knife cutting across the field".
Cleveland beat the Baltimore Colts, a rival from the old AAFC, in its second preseason game. Scoring in the game, played in Cincinnati, began with an 18-yard passing touchdown from Graham to halfback Dub Jones in the first quarter. Baltimore's Billy Stone received the ensuing kickoff and ran it back 100 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7–7. Graham then led the team on a 75-yard drive composed mostly of passes to Lavelli that ended with a one-yard touchdown by Graham on a quarterback sneak. A short field goal by Groza gave the Browns a 17–7 lead at halftime. The Browns widened the lead with another Groza field goal in the third period and a touchdown set up by a 63-yard punt return by Ken Carpenter at the beginning of the fourth. Holding a 20-point lead, Brown rested his starters and sent in a squad composed entirely of rookies. The rookies managed another touchdown on a two-yard rush by Tom O'Malley that was set up by a Carpenter interception, giving Cleveland the 34–7 win. Cleveland's defense played well, allowing 42 net rushing yards and 86 passing yards.
Rex Bumgardner 7-yard pass from Otto Graham (Lou Groza kick)
Cleveland won its third preseason game in a row over the Detroit Lions at the Rubber Bowl in Akron, Ohio. Graham threw a touchdown pass to Jones on the team's second offensive play after receiving the opening kickoff, the first of three touchdowns in the first quarter. The second score came on a one-yard rush by Graham set up by several passes to Jones on the team's second possession. The third was an eight-yard run by Rex Bumgardner at the end of the quarter. Neither team scored in the second quarter, although Cleveland had two touchdowns called back because of penalties. A 41-yard rushing touchdown by Motley extended Cleveland's lead to 28–0 in the third quarter, and Brown rested his starters. With Cleveland's best players out of the game, Detroit scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter on a pair of two-yard rushes by Dan Sandifer and John Panelli. Brown put his starters back in the game following Detroit's second touchdown, and a Graham pass to Bumgardner sealed the 35–14 win.
Ken Kavanaugh pass from Johnny Lujack (kick failed)
The Browns beat the Bears in their fourth preseason game and the first matchup of the season at Cleveland Stadium. Chicago quarterback Johnny Lujack gave the Bears the game's first score with a touchdown pass to Jim Keane nine minutes into the first quarter. Cleveland tied the score later in the quarter with a two-yard Bumgardner rush. Chicago took the lead on a second-quarter field goal by George Blanda, but a Groza field goal later in the period evened the score. Near the end of the quarter, Jones fell as he caught a pass from Graham, but managed to get back up and run it in for a touchdown, giving the Browns a 17–10 lead at halftime. Neither team scored in the third quarter, but the Browns began to pull away at the beginning of the fourth when Carpenter took a high punt by Fred "Curly" Morrison on his own 21-yard line and returned it for a touchdown. He got help on the play from a block at midfield by Phelps. Groza then kicked another field goal to put the Browns up by 17 points. Chicago scored two touchdowns as the game was out of reach in the fourth quarter, both of them passes from Lujack to Ken Kavanaugh.
Cleveland beat the Steelers in the final game of the preseason, played at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York just three days after the Browns beat the Bears. Pittsburgh began the scoring in the first quarter with a one-yard rushing touchdown by Jerry Shipkey. The Browns responded with a touchdown run by Bumgardner in the first quarter on a Statue of Liberty play. Another touchdown run by Motley in the second period gave the Browns a 14–7 lead. After a Pittsburgh field goal, Cleveland added a touchdown and a field goal later in the second quarter to go ahead 24–10 at halftime. The Browns continued their scoring streak in the third quarter as a long kickoff return by Carpenter set up a 21-yard rushing touchdown by Emerson Cole. Shipkey scored one touchdown in the third quarter and two in the fourth, one of them a 35-yard interception return by Howard Hartley, but the Browns scored another touchdown and field goal to seal a 41–31 victory. Brown rested his starters for the fourth quarter, as he had in previous preseason games. Cleveland's offense had 194 rushing yards and 289 passing yards, compared to 282 yards of total offense by the Steelers.
1950 Cleveland Browns season Preseason articles: 33
10 Ted Cook (American football)
Theodore Walter Cook, Sr. was a player in the National Football League. He played one season with the Detroit Lions and three with the Green Bay Packers.More
15 Rex Grossman Sr.
Rex Daniel Grossman Sr. was an American football linebacker and fullback who played for two seasons in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and one season in the National Football League (NFL). After playing college football for Indiana, he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the twenty-ninth round of the 1948 NFL Draft. He played for the Baltimore Colts of the AAFC from 1948 to 1949, until they merged with the NFL in 1950, and for the Detroit Lions of the NFL in 1950. His grandson, Rex, is a former NFL quarterback who played for 11 seasons in the league and started for the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.More
16 Tom O'Malley (American football)
Thomas Louis "Tom" O'Malley was a quarterback in the National Football League. He was a member of the Green Bay Packers during the 1950 NFL season. He played for the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League from 1951 to 1953, leading them to the 39th Grey Cup, winning it 21−14. He played college football at Cincinnati. In his one NFL game he threw six interceptions.More
In ball-playing competitive team sports, an interception or pick is a move by a player involving a pass of the ball—whether by foot or hand, depending on the rules of the sport—in which the ball is intended for a player of the same team but caught by a player of the team on defense, who thereby usually gains possession of the ball for their team. It is commonly seen in football, including American and Canadian football, as well as association football, rugby league, rugby union, Australian rules football and Gaelic football, as well as any sport by which a loose object is passed between players toward a goal.
In basketball, a pick is called a steal.More
32 Joe Gasparella
Joseph Richard Gasparella was an American football quarterback who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League. He played college football at University of Notre Dame for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.More
33 Statue of Liberty play
The Statue of Liberty is a trick play in American football named after the Statue of Liberty.More
After winning all of its preseason games, Cleveland prepared to face the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles to open the regular season. The victory over the Bears, who finished near the top of the NFL's Western Conference in 1949, appeared to prove that the team could compete in the new league, but Eagles coach Greasy Neale did not take the Browns seriously. Led by an offense that featured Graham, Motley and Lavelli, all of whom were later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Browns beat the Eagles in Philadelphia and went on to finish the regular season with a 10–2 record for first place in the league's American Division. Their losses both came against the New York Giants.
Before the game against Philadelphia, Brown told his players that Cleveland's successful years in the AAFC were at stake against the Eagles. "There's not only this season at stake, but four years of achievements", he told them. "I'm asking you to dedicate yourselves to preserving the reputation the Browns have made". The Eagles punted after their first drive stalled, and Cleveland's Don Phelps returned the kick 64 yards for a touchdown. The score was called back on a clipping penalty, however. Groza injured his arm on the play and sat out the rest of the game. Philadelphia made the first score of the game, a 17-yard field goal by Cliff Patton. The Browns tried to respond with a field goal of their own, but Chubby Grigg, substituting for Groza, missed the attempt. Jones scored a touchdown later in the first quarter on a pass from Graham, putting Cleveland in the lead. Another touchdown pass from Graham to Lavelli at the end of the second quarter put Cleveland ahead 14–3 at halftime. The Browns extended the lead on their first possession of the third quarter, an 80-yard drive capped by a short touchdown pass to end Mac Speedie. Turnovers by Philadelphia and then by the Browns set up a touchdown for the Eagles at the beginning of the fourth quarter to narrow Cleveland's lead to 11 points. The Browns added two touchdowns toward the end of the game, the first on a one-yard quarterback sneak by Graham and the second a short run by Bumgardner that was set up by a Lahr interception. The Browns had 316 passing yards and 141 rushing yards in the 35–10 win. A crowd of 71,237 people saw the game, an attendance record in Philadelphia and the ninth-largest in professional football history at the time. NFL commissioner Bert Bell named Graham the team's most valuable player and gave him a trophy, calling the Browns "the greatest team to ever play the game". Neale congratulated the Browns on the win, but critiqued the team for its reliance on passing, equating it to a basketball team. Brown said the team would not gloat over the victory, citing a long season ahead.
Cleveland next traveled to Baltimore to face the Colts, winning 31–0. Cleveland scored three times in the first quarter, getting out to a 17–0 lead. The first was a 38-yard touchdown pass from Graham to Lavelli on the team's second play from scrimmage. Grigg kicked a short field goal on the team's next possession, and Jones ran for the third score, an 11-yard touchdown. Graham threw four interceptions in the game, including on his first two passes of the second half, giving Baltimore several opportunities to score. While the Colts reached the Browns' 2-yard line twice, the Cleveland defense forced a turnover on downs both times. Jones ran for another touchdown in the third quarter, a 61-yard rush that capped a two-play, 82-yard drive. In the waning minutes of the game, Ken Gorgal intercepted a Baltimore pass and lateraled it to Lahr, who returned it 21 yards. On the second play of the ensuing possession, Carpenter took a handoff from Cliff Lewis, who was substituting for Graham, and ran it 61 yards for another touchdown.
Cleveland lost its first game of the season and was shut out for the first time in 62 games against the Giants in Cleveland. Unlike the Eagles, the Giants prepared carefully for the Browns and were able to stop the team's potent passing attack. After the Browns beat Philadelphia, Giants coach Steve Owen scouted the team and resolved to use an innovative umbrella defense, a formation where the defensive ends were used to cover passes. This freed the team's linebackers and safeties to cover passes over the middle of the field. The Giants advanced 52 yards on a drive in the first quarter, ending with a touchdown run by Eddie Price. The extra point attempt failed, but the six points were enough to win the game as New York's defensive strategy paid dividends. Graham had no completions in the first half and threw four interceptions. Cleveland had several opportunities to score late in the game, including a drive set up by a good punt return by Dom Moselle that ended with a fumble. Graham also missed on passes to Speedie and Horace Gillom in the end zone in the fourth quarter.
Cleveland beat the Steelers in the fourth game of the regular season. Pittsburgh took the lead on a 30-yard field goal by Joe Geri early in the first quarter. Moselle returned a punt 46 yards to Pittsburgh's 19-yard line later in the period, leading to a drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak by Graham. A Pittsburgh fumble in the second quarter gave Cleveland the ball at the Steelers' 39-yard line, setting up another score on a sneak by Graham. Pittsburgh's Howard Hartley fumbled a punt later in the quarter and Cleveland recovered, leading to another touchdown, this time a 2-yard run by Jones. An errant snap on the Steelers' first play in the second half rolled into their own end zone, where Lynn Chandnois recovered but was tackled by John Kissell for a safety. Pittsburgh scored a touchdown later in the third quarter, narrowing the score to 23–10, but another score by Jones with nine minutes left to play clinched the victory.
The Browns beat the Chicago Cardinals at home in the fifth game of the season, bringing their record to four wins and one loss. Chicago scored a touchdown on their first possession, assisted by a defensive holding penalty against the Browns that gave the Cardinals a first down at Cleveland's three-yard line. A field goal by Pat Harder extended Chicago's lead to 10–0. Graham ran for a touchdown later in the first quarter after dropping back to pass near the end zone and finding room to run. Cleveland then evened the score in the second quarter with a field goal by Groza. The Cardinals scored another touchdown in the second quarter after a long drive on which the Browns were penalized for 41 yards, and led 17–10 at halftime. Chicago built on its lead six minutes into the third quarter with 36-yard passing touchdown set up by a short punt into the wind by Gillom. Graham and the Browns began to mount a comeback on the next drive with a 54-yard lateral play between Graham, Lavelli and Motley. Graham then threw a touchdown to Lavelli from 29 yards out. Another touchdown pass to Lavelli in the fourth quarter tied the game, and Cleveland took the lead for the first time with a 19-yard field goal by Groza. A touchdown run by Motley near the end of the game sealed the victory.
Cleveland lost to the Giants for the second time in the sixth game of the season at the Polo Grounds in New York. The Giants again managed to stymie the Browns' passing game, but employed a different strategy from the one they used in three weeks before. Instead of dropping their defensive ends into coverage to handle Cleveland's receivers, New York allowed single coverage on the receivers and had its ends rush Graham, giving him less time to find his men open. Graham lost 71 yards being tackled while dropping back to pass. A fumble by Graham early in the game was recovered by the Giants, leading to New York's first score, a 22-yard field goal. The Browns scored a field goal midway through the second quarter after going for it on fourth down at midfield and getting help from an interference penalty.Tony Adamle recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and the Browns drove into New York territory as time ran out in the first half. Groza kicked a field goal, putting the Browns ahead 6–3. After Cleveland kicked off to New York with only a few seconds left in the half, returner Jim Ostendarp let the ball roll to his own one-yard line and the Browns recovered the live ball. Graham then ran a quarterback sneak for a touchdown. The Giants dominated in the second half, scoring a touchdown on their second drive and adding another in the fourth quarter to win the game, 17–13. Graham was held to just 118 yards of passing on 10 completions. Cleveland defensive end Len Ford suffered a severe injury to his face during the game and had to be taken to the hospital. He sat out the remainder of the regular season and had to have his mouth wired shut so it could heal.
Cleveland handily beat the Steelers at home in their seventh game of the season. It was a breakout performance for Motley, who had 11 carries for 188 yards and two touchdown runs. A 61-yard return of the opening kickoff by Phelps set up the Browns' first touchdown, a short rush by Graham two and a half minutes into the first period. After stopping a pair of long Pittsburgh drives in the second quarter, Cleveland advanced to the Steelers' two-yard line but had to settle for a Groza field goal. Near the end of the half, Motley caught a pass from Graham and ran it in for another touchdown, putting Cleveland ahead 17–0. An interception by Gorgal on Pittsburgh's first drive of the third quarter led to Motley's second touchdown, a 69-yard run. Another interception by Jim Martin and a touchdown catch on the next drive by Phelps gave the Browns their fourth touchdown of the game and a commanding lead. Pittsburgh scored a touchdown on a two-play, 80-yard drive in the fourth quarter, but Cleveland added two more touchdowns at the end of the game to win 45–7.
Cleveland beat the Cardinals 10–7 in the eighth week in Chicago. The Cardinals got the ball first, but Cleveland took over when Tony Adamle recovered a fumble by Venton Yablonski. Jones took a pitch from Graham on the Browns' first play and ran it 33 yards for a touchdown. The Browns forced the Cardinals to punt on their next possession and started a drive from their own 27-yard line. A run by Bumgardner and a 26-yard reception by Lavelli helped set up a 17-yard Groza field goal, putting Cleveland up 10–0. The Browns had two more promising drives in the second quarter, but both ended with missed field goals. Chicago scored a touchdown before halftime, aided by a 64-yard pass from Frank Tripucka to Bob Shaw. Neither team scored in the second half, when both defenses performed well. The Cardinals stopped a long Cleveland drive in the fourth quarter that reached their two-yard line, but they were unable to score on their ensuing possession as time expired. The win gave the Browns the lead in the NFL's American Conference.
Cleveland beat the San Francisco 49ers, an old rival from the AAFC, at home in the ninth game of the season. The 49ers scored first after blocking a Gillom punt and recovering at Cleveland's one-yard line in the first quarter. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Frankie Albert ran for a touchdown on the following play. The Browns' Chubby Grigg recovered a fumble by San Francisco's Sam Cathcart at the 49ers' seven-yard line near end of the first quarter, setting up a short touchdown pass from Graham to Jones. A 22-yard rushing touchdown by Motley put the Browns ahead midway through the second quarter, but San Francisco tied the game at the end of the half with a pass from Albert to Alyn Beals. A fumble by Joe Perry, one of five he made in the game, led to a Groza field goal 10 minutes into the third quarter. Groza added to the lead with another field goal in the fourth quarter, and the Browns surged ahead at the end of the game by capitalizing on San Francisco interceptions and fumbles. Both Jones and Bumgardner scored rushing touchdowns, securing a 34–14 win.
The Browns beat the Washington Redskins in the 10th game of the season, improving their record to 8–2. After the Browns' first possession faltered, the Redskins took over and drove to the Browns' 22-yard line. The drive stalled there, however, and Washington missed a field goal attempt. Assisted by five Motley runs that gained 69 yards, the Browns scored the game's first points in the second quarter on a 30-yard field goal by Groza. Cleveland quickly added a touchdown on a throw from Graham to Lavelli after a Washington fumble. On the team's next possession, however, a Graham pass was intercepted by Washington's Hal Haynes and returned for a touchdown to narrow the score to 10–7. Another field goal by Groza left the score at 13–7 at halftime. Washington dominated the third quarter, holding the Browns' offense in check and driving for a two-yard rushing touchdown to take a one-point lead. The Browns, however, pulled out the victory in the fourth quarter with a touchdown run by Phelps. The win kept the Browns in first place in their conference as the season drew to a close. Motley had another strong game, rushing for 127 yards.
After a bye in the 11th week of the season, the Browns beat the Eagles 13–7 at home. Lahr intercepted a pass less than two minutes into the game and returned it for a touchdown, putting Cleveland up 7–0. A steady rain fell during the game, resulting in a muddy field and a slippery ball. Both teams had trouble advancing. Remembering Neale's likening the Browns to a basketball team after their first matchup, Brown told his players before the game that they were not to throw a pass as long as they were tied or in the lead. The Browns threw only 2 pass attempts in the game, but they were both called back on penalties. However, on paper, the Browns are credited with not attempting a single pass during the game. They only once made a first down. Cleveland punted often on third down in the first half, opting to give Philadelphia the ball rather than risk a turnover in the inclement weather. Gillom has a total of 12 punts that averaged 42 yards. A fumble by the Eagles set up a 35-yard Groza field goal with less than two minutes left in the half to put Cleveland ahead 10–0. Groza kicked another field goal in the third quarter, boosting his season total to 12 and eclipsing an NFL record for field goals in a season that had stood since 1925. The Eagles scored a touchdown in the final minutes of the game after a 54-yard drive to narrow the final score to 13–7. The win kept Cleveland in a tie for first place with the Giants at 9–2 in the American Conference. No team has since failed to attempt a pass during a game as of 2013[update].
Despite Marion Motley being ejected for fighting with Redskin players over racial slurs, the Browns beat the Redskins for the second time in the last game of the season. However, the Giants also defeated the Eagles, leaving them tied at 10–2 atop of the American Conference. The game, played during a heavy snowstorm in Washington, began with a Redskins touchdown on their first drive that was helped by an interference penalty on the Browns. Cleveland tied the game with a touchdown early in the second quarter following a Tommy James interception of the Redskins' Sammy Baugh. Washington quickly regained the lead with a 51-yard passing touchdown to Hugh Taylor, but Graham's 29-yard touchdown pass to Jones, his second of the game, evened the score at halftime. The Redskins went ahead for a third time with a touchdown in the third quarter, but the Browns dominated the remainder of the game, with touchdown receptions by Bumgardner and Phelps and an interception returned for a touchdown by Lahr. Groza scored two field goals in the final quarter to bring the score to 45–21. Despite poor weather and a slippery ball, Graham had four touchdown passes and 321 yards on 23 completions. The Giants also won in the final week of the season, forcing a playoff for the top spot in the conference and a place in the championship game.
1950 Cleveland Browns season Regular season articles: 42
7 Bye (sports)
A bye in sports refers to organizers scheduling a competitor not to participate in a given round of competition, due to one of several circumstances.More
11 Bill Mackrides
William Mackrides was an American football quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. He helped the Eagles win the 1948 and 1949 NFL Championships.More
12 Clipping (gridiron football)
In gridiron football, clipping is the act of a "throwing the body across the back of the leg of an eligible receiver or charging or falling into the back of an opponent below the waist after approaching him from behind, provided the opponent is not a runner." It is also clipping to roll up on the legs of an opponent after a block. It is usually illegal, but in the National Football League it is legal to clip above the knee in close-line play. The Canadian Football League has similar definitions, prohibitions and exceptions, including that "application of [a] penalty is determined by the initial contact".More
16 Formation (American football)
A formation in football refers to the position players line up in before the start of a down. There are both offensive and defensive formations and there are many formations in both categories. Sometimes, formations are referred to as packages.More
18 Charley Seabright
Charles "Charley" Edward Seabright was an American Football player from Wheeling, West Virginia, where he spent the majority of his professional career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Seabright played both offense and defense with the Steelers from 1946–1950, including stints as the starting quarterback. Seabright started every game for the 1947 Steelers in a season that ended in a one-game playoff to eventual champion Philadelphia. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette considered Seabright, who wore number 33, a star player during the championship run. Seabright was one of the last NFL players to play both offense and defense. In addition, Seabright is recognized as being the last professional football player to be a quarterback in the "single-wing" formation, the precursor to the T-formation regularly used by all NFL teams. Seabright began his professional football career with the Cleveland Rams in 1941. However, he left football from 1942-1944 to serve in combat in World War II.More
23 Bob Shaw (end)
Robert Shaw was an American football end in the National Football League (NFL).More
26 Forrest Griffith
Forrest Martin Griffith was an American football halfback who played two seasons with the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Giants in the fifth round of the 1950 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Kansas and attended Lee's Summit High School in Lee's Summit, Missouri.More
33 Alyn Beals
Alyn Richard Beals was a professional American football end/defensive end in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and the National Football League (NFL). He played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers from 1946 through 1951. Beals led the AAFC in receiving touchdowns all four years of the league's existence and in 1949 he was the AAFC leader in overall touchdowns (12) and points scored (73). When the AAFC folded at the end of the 1949 season, he was the league's all-time scoring leader with 278 points.More
34 Sam Cathcart
Samuel Woodrow Cathcart was an American football halfback and defensive back who played for the San Francisco 49ers. He played college football at the University of California, Santa Barbara, having previously attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, California. He was the brother of Royal Cathcart, who also played for the 49ers. He died of cancer in hospital in 2015.More