1976 Cleveland Browns season

The 1976 Cleveland Browns season was the franchise's 31st as a professional sports franchise and their 27th season as a member of the National Football League. The Browns were coached by second-year coach Forrest Gregg, and ended their season with a record of 9–5, being third in their division. The team's top draft choice was running back Mike Pruitt. Brian Sipe firmly took control at quarterback. Sipe had been inserted into the lineup after a Mike Phipps injury in the season-opening win against the New York Jets on September 12. After a 1–3 start brought visions of another disastrous year, the Browns jolted the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers with an 18–16 victory on October 10. Third-string quarterback Dave Mays helped lead the team to that victory, while defensive end Joe "Turkey" Jones' pile-driving sack of quarterback Terry Bradshaw fueled the heated rivalry between the two teams. That win was the first of eight in the next nine weeks, helping put the Browns in contention for the AFC playoffs. A loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the regular-season finale cost them a share of the division title, but running back Greg Pruitt continued his outstanding play by rushing for exactly 1,000 yards, his second-straight four-digit season.

1976 Cleveland Browns season
Head coachForrest Gregg
OwnerArt Modell
Home fieldCleveland Municipal Stadium
Local radioWHK
Results
Record9–5
Division place3rd AFC Central
Playoff finishDid not qualify

OffseasonEdit

NFL DraftEdit

The following were selected in the 1976 NFL Draft.

Round Overall Player Position School/Club Team
1 7 Mike Pruitt Running back Purdue
3 65 Dave Logan Wide receiver Colorado
4 97 Gene Swick Quarterback Toledo
4 99 Mike St. Clair Defensive end Grambling
5 130 Henry Sheppard Guard SMU
7 189 Steve Cassidy Defensive tackle LSU
9 242 James Reed Running back Mississippi
9 261 Craig Nagel Quarterback Purdue
10 271 Doug Kleber Offensive tackle Illinois
11 297 Doug Celek Defensive end Kent State
13 354 Brian Murray Offensive tackle Arizona
14 381 Joe Smalzer Tight end Illinois
15 408 Luther Philyaw Defensive back Loyola(CA)
16 438 Chris Lorenzen Defensive tackle Arizona State
17 464 Tom Fleming Wide receiver Dartmouth

[1]

Exhibition scheduleEdit

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game site Attendance NFL.com
1 July 31 Baltimore Colts L 0–21 0–1 Memorial Stadium (Lincoln)
20,304
Recap
2 August 7 Atlanta Falcons W 31–7 1–1 Lewis field
24,227
Recap
3 August 16 Minnesota Vikings W 31–7 2–1 Cleveland Stadium
44,336
Recap
4 August 23 at Philadelphia Eagles W 21–17 3–1 Veterans Stadium
20,600
Recap
5 August 30 New England Patriots W 30–27 4–1 Cleveland Stadium
36,016
Recap
6 September 3 at Buffalo Bills L 10–28 4–2 Rich Stadium
37,951
Recap

Regular season scheduleEdit

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game site Attendance NFL.com
recap[2]
1 September 12 New York Jets W 38–17 1–0 Cleveland Stadium 67,496 Recap
2 September 19 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 14–31 1–1 Three Rivers Stadium 49,169 Recap
3 September 26 at Denver Broncos L 13–44 1–2 Mile High Stadium 62,775 Recap
4 October 3 Cincinnati Bengals L 24–45 1–3 Cleveland Stadium 75,817 Recap
5 October 10 Pittsburgh Steelers W 18–16 2–3 Cleveland Stadium 76,411 Recap
6 October 17 at Atlanta Falcons W 20–17 3–3 Atlanta Stadium 33,364 Recap
7 October 24 San Diego Chargers W 21–17 4–3 Cleveland Stadium 60,018 Recap
8 October 31 at Cincinnati Bengals L 6–21 4–4 Riverfront Stadium 54,776 Recap
9 November 7 at Houston Oilers W 21–7 5–4 Astrodome 39,828 Recap
10 November 14 Philadelphia Eagles W 24–3 6–4 Cleveland Stadium 62,120 Recap
11 November 21 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 24–7 7–4 Tampa Stadium 36,930 Recap
12 November 28 Miami Dolphins W 17–13 8–4 Cleveland Stadium 74,715 Recap
13 December 5 Houston Oilers W 13–10 9–4 Cleveland Stadium 56,025 Recap
14 December 12 at Kansas City Chiefs L 14–39 9–5 Arrowhead Stadium 34,340 Recap

StandingsEdit

AFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Pittsburgh Steelers(3) 10 4 0 .714 5–1 9–3 342 138 W9
Cincinnati Bengals 10 4 0 .714 4–2 8–4 335 210 W1
Cleveland Browns 9 5 0 .643 3–3 7–5 267 287 L1
Houston Oilers 5 9 0 .357 0–6 3–9 222 273 L2

RosterEdit

1976 Cleveland Browns roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Rookies in italics

[3]

Game summariesEdit

Week 5 vs SteelersEdit

Week Five: Pittsburgh Steelers (1–3) at Cleveland Browns (1–3)
1 2 34Total
Steelers 7 3 0616
Browns 3 3 9318

at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

Turkey Jones knocked out Terry Bradshaw in this contest.

Week 6: at AtlantaEdit

Week 6: Cleveland Browns at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Browns 14 0 6020
Falcons 0 14 3017

at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta

  • Date: October 17
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: 57°F, relative humidity 78%, round (wind) 11 MPH
  • Game attendance: 33,364
  • TV announcers (NBC): Jay Randolph (play–by–play) and Floyd Little (color commentator)
  • [1]
Game information

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ "1976 NFL Draft Listing – Pro-Football-Reference.com". Archived from the original on 2009-07-25. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
  2. ^ "Cleveland Browns History – 1976". Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  3. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/cle/1976_roster.htm