Week 2 - Lions-Browns Rivalry

01/01/2005

A Rivalry for the Ages
Browns and Lions Met Four Times in Title Game During 1950s

Lou Groza Kick

Lou Groza (#76) added this extra point following Ray Renfro's touchdown reception that put the Browns into the lead, 7-3, in the 1954 NFL Championship Game. The Browns never looked back as they downed Detroit, 56-10.

The Detroit Lions travel to Cleveland for just the third time since the 1970 merger that among many things saw the Browns shift to the American Football Conference. It is the Lions first trip to the shores of Lake Erie since 1986. This weekend's match-up at Cleveland Browns Stadium marks just the 16th regular season meeting between the two teams, dating back to 1950.

The Browns merged into the NFL in 1950 after the All-America Football Conference folded following the '49 season. In the AAFC's four-year existence, the Browns compiled an astonishing 52-4-3 record for a .907 winning percentage that included capturing all four league championships.

Many of the NFL faithful had doubts about the caliber of play in the AAFC. The Browns quickly turned the doubters into believers when the team marched through the 1950 NFL season and capped the year by defeating the Los Angeles Rams in the championship game. Meanwhile, in the Motor City, the Lions were putting together a rather formidable foe for the Browns. Cleveland made it to the NFL title game seven times in eight years upon their entrance into the NFL. Four times in six years from 1952 to 1957, their opponent was none other than the Lions.

Detroitlions.com
A Decade of Dominance

The two teams squared off in back-to-back championship games in 1952 and 1953. The Lions came away victorious in both games with 17-7 and 17-16 wins respectively. Then, in 1954 the Browns sought revenge with a convincing 56-10 win over the Lions in Cleveland. Three years later, in 1957, the Lions returned the favor by thrashing the Browns 59-14 in Detroit.

Both teams featured their fare share of exciting players many of whom found a permanent home in Canton, Ohio with their induction into the Hall of Fame. Here's a quick look at those Hall of Fame players from those Browns and Lions championship battles of the '50s.

1952
Detroit Lions - (5) - Jack Christiansen, Lou Creekmur, Yale Lary, Bobby Layne, Doak Walker
Cleveland Browns - (8) - Paul Brown, Len Ford, Frank Gatski, Otto Graham, Lou Groza, Dante Lavelli, Marion Motley, Bill Willis

1953
Detroit Lions - (6) - Jack Christiansen, Lou Creekmur, Yale Lary, Bobby Layne, Joe Schmidt, Doak Walker
Cleveland Browns - (9) - Paul Brown, Doug Atkins, Len Ford, Frank Gatski, Otto Graham, Lou Groza, Dante Lavelli, Marion Motley, Bill Willis

Bobby Layne Scores
Bobby Layne scored the Lions' first touchdown in the 1952 championship with this two-yard run in the second quarter. The Lions built on a 7-0 first half lead to defeat Cleveland 17-7.

1954
Cleveland Browns - (8) - Paul Brown, Doug Atkins, Len Ford, Frank Gatski, Otto Graham, Lou Groza, Dante Lavelli, Mike McCormack
Detroit Lions - (5) - Jack Christiansen, Lou Creekmur, Bobby Layne, Joe Schmidt, Doak Walker

1957
Detroit Lions - (7) - Jack Christiansen, Lou Creekmur, Frank Gatski, John Henry Johnson, Yale Lary, Bobby Layne, Joe Schmidt
Cleveland Browns - (6) - Jim Brown, Paul Brown, Len Ford, Lou Groza, Henry Jordan, Mike McCormack




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