The 1954 Cleveland Browns season was the team's fifth season with the National Football League. The Browns' defense became the first defense in the history of the NFL to lead the league in fewest rushing yards allowed, fewest passing yards allowed, and fewest total yards allowed.
|1954 Cleveland Browns season|
|Head coach||Paul Brown|
|Home field||Cleveland Stadium|
|Division place||1st Eastern|
|Playoff finish||Won NFL Championship (vs. Lions) 56–10|
The Browns were 9–3 in the regular season and won the Eastern Conference. They hosted the NFL Championship Game, and met the two-time defending champion Detroit Lions for the third straight year. This year's result was different, as the Browns won with a 56–10 blowout.
The teams had met on the same field the previous week, in a meaningless game won 14–10 by the Lions. Both teams had already clinched their respective conference titles; it was postponed from early October due to the World Series. After the win, Detroit was a slight favorite for the title game.
Defensive Back Don Paul arrived via a trade with the Washington Redskins, who acquired him from the Chicago Cardinals. Upon his arrival in Washington, he fell in disfavor with George Preston Marshall of the Redskins.
In January 1954, assistant coach Weeb Ewbank departed to become head coach of the Baltimore Colts.
The 1954 NFL Draft was one of the biggest busts in the team's history. With the first overall pick in the draft, the Browns selected quarterback Bobby Garrett out of Stanford University. The plan was that he would be the heir to Otto Graham. Garrett suffered from a stuttering problem which hindered his performance in the huddle. Eventually, Garrett was traded to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for Babe Parilli, although Parilli would not play for the Browns until 1956. Later in the first round, the club selected John Bauer, who never played for the Browns and only played in two NFL games in his career.
|1954 Cleveland Browns roster|
14 Otto Graham
54 Tony Adamle (LB)
26 Ray Renfro
82 Pete Brewster
74 Mike McCormack LT (DL)
82 Carlton Massey DE
65 Chuck Noll LB (G, C)
42 Tommy James
76 Lou Groza K (RT)
|1||August 21||at Green Bay Packers||W 14–13||15,747|
|2||August 27||at Los Angeles Rams||L 38–10||58,567|
|3||September 5||at San Francisco 49ers||L 21–38||46,877|
|4||September 10||vs. Detroit Lions at Dallas||L 31–56||42,000|
|5||September 18||Chicago Bears||L 7–35||17,631|
|1||September 26||at Philadelphia Eagles||L 10–28||0–1||Connie Mack Stadium||26,546|
|2||October 3||Postponement to December 19; (World Series)|
|3||October 10||Chicago Cardinals||W 31–7||1–1||Cleveland Municipal Stadium||24,101|
|4||October 17||at Pittsburgh Steelers||L 27–55||1–2||Forbes Field||33,262|
|5||October 24||at Chicago Cardinals||W 35–3||2–2||Comiskey Park||23,823|
|6||October 31||New York Giants||W 24–14||3–2||Cleveland Municipal Stadium||30,448|
|7||November 7||Washington Redskins||W 62–3||4–2||Cleveland Municipal Stadium||25,158|
|8||November 14||at Chicago Bears||W 39–10||5–2||Wrigley Field||48,773|
|9||November 21||Philadelphia Eagles||W 6–0||6–2||Cleveland Municipal Stadium||41,537|
|10||November 28||at New York Giants||W 16–7||7–2||Polo Grounds||45,936|
|11||December 5||at Washington Redskins||W 34–14||8–2||Griffith Stadium||21,761|
|12||December 12||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 42–7||9–2||Cleveland Municipal Stadium||28,064|
|13||December 19||Detroit Lions||L 10–14||9–3||Cleveland Municipal Stadium||34,168|
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.
|NFL Eastern Conference|
|New York Giants||7||5||0||.583||7–3||293||184||L1|
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
NFL Championship GameEdit
|Championship||December 26||Detroit Lions||W 56–10||1–0||Cleveland Municipal Stadium||43,827||Recap|
- ^ The Best Show in Football:The 1946–1955 Cleveland Browns, p.294, Andy Piascik, Taylor Trade Publishing, 2007, ISBN 978-1-58979-360-6
- ^ a b Stolle, Fred (December 27, 1954). "Graham features as Cleveland crushes Detroit, 56-10, for pro grid championship". Youngstown Vindicator. (Ohio). p. 8.
- ^ a b Liska, Jerry (December 27, 1954). "Graham stars as Browns humble Lions, 56-19". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. p. 3, part 2.
- ^ "Mixture as before: Lions beat Browns". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. December 20, 1954. p. 21.
- ^ Livingston, Pat (December 26, 1954). "Lions battle Browns for NFL title". Pittsburgh Press. p. 1, section 4.
- ^ "Browns-Lions clash in Cleveland today for grid title". Youngstown Vindicator. (Ohio). Associated Press. December 26, 1954. p. D1.
- ^ a b c The Best Show in Football:The 1946–1955 Cleveland Browns, p.308, Andy Piascik, Taylor Trade Publishing, 2007, ISBN 978-1-58979-360-6
- ^ "Baltimore signs Ewbank, Browns' aid(e), as coach". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. January 15, 1954. p. 3, part 2.
- ^ The Best Show in Football:The 1946–1955 Cleveland Browns, p.310, Andy Piascik, Taylor Trade Publishing, 2007, ISBN 978-1-58979-360-6
- 1954 Cleveland Browns at Pro Football Reference (profootballreference.com)
- 1954 Cleveland Browns Statistics at jt-sw.com
- 1954 Cleveland Browns Schedule at jt-sw.com
- 1954 Cleveland Browns at DatabaseFootball.com