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