1964 Cleveland Browns season

1964 Cleveland Browns season

1964 Cleveland Browns season
Head coach Blanton Collier
Home field Cleveland Stadium
Local radio WERE (1300 AM)
Results
Record 10–3–1
Division place 1st NFL Eastern
Playoff finish Won NFL Championship (4)
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1963 1965 >

The 1964 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 19th season, and 15th season with the National Football League. The Browns won the NFL Championship, despite having not made the playoffs in six seasons.[1]

The Browns' championship is the most recent championship by a professional sports team in the Cleveland area.

Regular season

The regular season was a success with The Browns finishing with a regular season record of 10–3–1.They were coached by Blanton Collier who had replaced the historic Paul Brown the previous season. The team had a tremendous amount of heart, which was demonstrated by the fact that they had key commanding wins throughout the season. For instance, they swept their arch rival New York Giants, who the previous year had edged them out as the eastern conference champion. Not only did they win both times that they played against the Giants but both wins were very convincing, the first being a 42–20 home victory and the second being a 52–20 away victory. The Second Victory over the Giants was a clutch, season ending game that clinched the eastern conference title. Many of the Browns' wins during the regular season were in a very commanding manner, with a 37–21 win over the Detroit Lions being a prime example. The win over the Lions carried extra significance due to the fact that the lions had been the team that knocked them out of the conference champion hunt the previous season by beating them 38–10 in the second to last regular season game. The Browns were led by legendary running back Jim Brown who had a stellar regular season, rushing for 1,446 yards with a 5.2 yards/carry average. Although they had a great rushing game, the Browns had a very balanced offense, choosing not to just hand the ball to Brown on every play. The quarterback of the team was Frank Ryan who had a decent season throwing for 2,404 yards and 25 touchdowns while throwing 19 interceptions. The top receivers of the team were Paul Warfield and Gary Collins, the second of whom would become a legend by catching three touchdowns in the championship game against the heavily favored Baltimore Colts.[2][3]

Championship Game

Leading into the game, the Browns were huge underdogs. Most experts had them losing by double digits. Baltimore was so heavily favored that after the Browns won the game, Sports Illustrated had to scramble to find a picture of a Browns player to put on its cover. Baltimore had the league's best offense and had a league best record of 12–2. They were stacked with future Hall of Famers such as Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore, and John Mackey. The Browns though, were unfazed by the apparent talent disparity and Jim Brown was reported stating before the game, "we're going to kick their [butt] today." The game-time temperature that day was 34 degrees and felt much colder in 15- to 25-mph winds whipping under gray December sky. The Municipal Stadium crowd of 79,544 was the second largest in NFL title-game history at the time. The Browns knew that if they wanted to be in the game they had to make a statement early on, and they did just that. Galen Fiss, the Browns team captain, broke up a screen pass from Unitas to Moore, sending Moore airborne for a loss. The Browns tenacity on defense is what got them to the half time score of 0–0. Brown's running back Ernie Green reported after the game about half time, "We cleaned ourselves and sat down, and it seemed like something came over all of us. I think we all kind of looked at each other and concluded, 'Hey, we can beat these guys.'" Not only did the Browns "beat" the Colts in the second half, They destroyed them, scoring 27 unanswered points. Gary Collins became a Cleveland Browns legend by catching three touch down passes, the third one being a 51-yarder with Colts defender Bobby Boyd all over him. The biggest story of the game was how well Cleveland's defense played against Baltimore's heralded offense. Cleveland was able to hold Unitas to just 95 yards while intercepting him twice.[4]

Lasting value

This is the last major sports championship that Cleveland has won, so it has a special place in most Clevelanders' hearts. The players who played in the game went on to become living legends in the town of Cleveland and are still remembered to this day. Not only is it remembered in Cleveland but ESPN ranks the '64 title game as the second-greatest NFL postseason upset, behind only Joe Namath's guaranteed win over the Colts in Super Bowl III four seasons later.

Offseason

NFL Draft

Round Overall Player Position School/Club Team
1 11 Paul Warfield Wide Receiver Ohio State
2 26 Billy Truax Defensive End LSU
4 54 Don Shackelford Tackle Pacific
5 67 Dick Klein Tackle Wichita State
7 95 Sammy Odom Linebacker Northwestern (LA) State
8 110 Leroy Kelly Running Back Morgan State
9 123 John Briscoe Linebacker Arizona
10 135 Bobby Robinson Guard Mississippi
10 138 Dick Van Raaphorst Kicker Ohio State
11 151 Eddie Versprille Fullback Alabama
12 166 Ed Mitchell Tackle Southern
13 179 Bob Meehan Guard Syracuse
14 194 Terry Sieg Running Back Virginia
15 207 John Houtman Tackle Michigan
16 222 Sid Williams End Southern
17 235 Larry Bartolameolli Tackle Western Michigan
18 250 Sherman Lewis Defensive Back Michigan State
19 263 Jim Higgins Guard Xavier
20 278 Dave Archer Tackle Syracuse
[5]

Exhibition schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Score Record Stadium Attendance Time Local TV Radio
1 August 9, 1964 at San Francisco 49ers L 7–26 0–1 Kezar Stadium
27,404
4:30 PM EDT WJMO-AM
2 August 15, 1964 (Sat) at Los Angeles Rams W 56–31 1–1 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
43,183
11:00 PM EDT WEWS-TV WERE-AM
3 August 22, 1964 (Sat) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (at Akron) W 42–7 2–1 Rubber Bowl
27,255
8:00 PM EDT WERE-AM
4 August 28, 1964 (Fri) at Detroit Lions W 35–14 3–1 Tiger Stadium
36,946
8:00 PM EDT WEWS-TV WJMO-AM
5 September 5, 1964 (Sat) Green Bay Packers W 20–17 4–1 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
83,736
9:00 PM EDT WJMO-AM

Notes:

Game Officials

Week Opponent Referee Umpire Head Linesman Back Judge Field Judge
1 at San Francisco
2 at Los Angeles
3 Pittsburgh (at Akron)
4 at Detroit
5 Green Bay

Regular season schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Score Record Stadium Attendance Time Network Radio
1 September 13, 1964 at Washington Redskins W 27–13 1–0 District of Columbia Stadium
47,577
1:30 PM EDT CBS WJMO-AM
2 September 20, 1964 St. Louis Cardinals T 33–33 1–0–1 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
76,954
1:30 PM EDT CBS WJMO-AM
3 September 27, 1964 at Philadelphia Eagles W 28–20 2–0–1 Franklin Field
60,671
1:30 PM EDT CBS WJMO-AM
4 October 4, 1964 Dallas Cowboys W 27–6 3–0–1 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
72,062
1:30 PM EDT CBS WJMO-AM
5 October 10, 1964 Pittsburgh Steelers L 7–23 3–1–1 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
80,530
8:00 PM EDT Sports Network Incorporated (SNI) WERE-AM
6 October 18, 1964 at Dallas Cowboys W 20–16 4–1–1 Cotton Bowl
37,456
2:30 PM EDT CBS WERE-AM
7 October 25, 1964 New York Giants W 42–20 5–1–1 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
81,050
1:30 PM EST CBS WERE-AM
8 November 1, 1964 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 30–17 6–1–1 Pitt Stadium
49,568
1:30 PM EST CBS WERE-AM
9 November 8, 1964 Washington Redskins W 34–24 7–1–1 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
76,385
1:30 PM EST CBS WERE-AM
10 November 15, 1964 Detroit Lions W 37–21 8–1–1 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
83,064
1:30 PM EST CBS WERE-AM
11 November 22, 1964 vs. Green Bay Packers (at Milwaukee) L 21–28 8–2–1 Milwaukee County Stadium
48,065
2:00 PM EST CBS WERE-AM
12 November 29, 1964 Philadelphia Eagles W 38–24 9–2–1 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
79,289
1:30 PM EST CBS WERE-AM
13 December 6, 1964 at St. Louis Cardinals L 19–28 9–3–1 Busch Stadium I
31,585
2:00 PM EST CBS WERE-AM
14 December 12, 1964 (Sat) at New York Giants W 52–20 10–3–1 Yankee Stadium (I)
63,007
2:00 PM EST CBS WERE-AM

Notes:

a All times in North American Eastern Time. (UTC–4 and UTC–5 starting October 25)

Game Summaries

Week 1: at Washington Redskins

Week 2: vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Week 3: at Philadelphia Eagles

Week 4: vs. Dallas Cowboys

Week 5: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 6: at Dallas Cowboys

Week 7: vs. New York Giants

Week 8: at Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 9: vs. Washington Redskins

Week 10: vs. Detroit Lions

Week 11: at Green Bay Packers

Week 12: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Week 13: at St. Louis Cardinals

Week 14: at New York Giants

Game Officials

Week Opponent Referee Umpire Head Linesman Back Judge Field Judge
1 at Washington
2 St. Louis (7) Tom Bell (25) Tom Kelleher
3 at Philadelphia
4 Dallas
5 Pittsburgh
6 at Dallas
7 New York (56) Norm Schachter
8 at Pittsburgh
9 Washington (52) George Rennix
10 Detroit (55) Tony Skovar
11 vs. Green Bay (at Milwaukee)
12 Philadelphia (3) Jim Pace
13 at St. Louis
14 at New York

Playoffs

Round Date Opponent Result Score Stadium Attendance Time Network Local Radio National Radio
1964 NFL Championship Game December 27, 1964 Baltimore Colts W 27–0 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
79,544
1:30 PM EST CBS WERE-AM CBS

Notes:

1964 NFL Championship Game: vs. Baltimore Colts

Officials

Round Opponent Referee Umpire Head Linesman Back Judge Field Judge Alternates
1964 NFL Championship Game Baltimore (56) Norm Schachter (57) Joe Connell (30) George Murphy (25) Tom Kelleher (16) Mike Lisetski (52) George Rennix, (29) Stan Jaworowski

Standings

NFL Eastern
W L T PCT PF PA STK
Cleveland Browns 10 3 1 .769 415 293 W-1
St. Louis Cardinals 9 3 2 .750 357 331 W-4
Philadelphia Eagles 6 8 0 .429 312 313 L-1
Washington Redskins 6 8 0 .429 307 305 L-2
Dallas Cowboys 5 8 1 .385 250 289 W-1
Pittsburgh Steelers 5 9 0 .357 253 315 L-1
New York Giants 2 10 2 .167 241 399 L-4

Personnel

Roster

[6]


Staff

Media

Radio

Flagship station Play-by-play Color commentator
WERE-AM Gib Shanley Jim Graner

Pre season TV

Local TV Play-by-play Color commentator
WEWS-TV Ken Coleman Warren Lahr

Awards and records

  • Jim Brown, NFL Rushing Leader, (1,446 yards)
  • Frank Ryan, NFL Leader, Touchdown Passes, (25)

Milestones

  • Jim Brown, Seventh NFL Rushing Title

1965 NFL Pro Bowl (1964 NFL Season), January 10, 1965

Pro Bowl

References

  1. ^ Last playoff appearance, 1958
  2. ^ King, Steve. "History: 1964". The Official Website of the Cleveland Browns. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Team History". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ Lubinger, Ben. "Cleveland Browns fans still cherish 1964 NFL championship season, more than two generations later". The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  5. ^ "1964 NFL Draft Listing – Pro-Football-Reference.com". Archived from the original on July 22, 2009. Retrieved July 19, 2009. 
  6. ^ http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/cle/1964_roster.htm
  • Browns on Pro Football Reference
  • Browns on jt-sw.com