|Date||December 27, 1953|
|Stadium||Briggs Stadium, Detroit, Michigan|
|Favorite||Cleveland by 3 points|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Harry Wismer and Red Grange|
|Radio in the United States|
|Announcers||Earl Gillespie, Chris Schenkel|
The 1953 National Football League championship game was the 21st annual championship game, held on December 27 at Briggs Stadium in Detroit.
The defending NFL champion Detroit Lions (10–2) of the Western Conference were led by quarterback Bobby Layne and running back Doak Walker, and the Cleveland Browns (11–1) of the Eastern Conference were led by head coach Paul Brown and quarterback Otto Graham. The game was a rematch of the previous year, which was won by the Lions, 17–7.This was the Browns' fourth consecutive NFL championship game appearance since joining the league in 1950, and they were favored by three points.
The Lions were attempting to become the third team in the championship game era (since 1933) to win two titles in a row, following the Chicago Bears (1940, 1941) and Philadelphia Eagles (1948, 1949).
The home underdog Lions rallied in the fourth quarter with a late touchdown and conversion to win by a single point, 17–16.The two teams met the following year for a third consecutive title match-up.
Ticket prices ranged from three to seven dollars.
The Lions struck first with a Doak Walker touchdown, and both scored field goals in the second quarter and the Lions led at halftime, 10–3. The Browns scored thirteen straight points in the second half to take the lead.
Trailing 16–10 with four minutes and 10 seconds of play remaining, the Lions started from their own 20-yard line and fought their way 80 yards in eight plays, the touchdown coming on a 33-yard pass from Bobby Layne to Jim Doran in the end zone, and Walker's extra point gave the Lions the lead.
Trailing 17–16, the Browns had one last chance; Ken Carpenter started the drive with a run to his own 28, but an Otto Graham pass intended for Pete Brewster was deflected by rookie defensive halfback Carl Karilivacz, intercepting the throw, clinching the Lions their third title.
Sunday, December 27, 1953
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. EST
The NFL added the fifth official, the back judge, in 1947; the line judge arrived in 1965, and the side judge in 1978.
The gross receipts for the game, including radio and television rights, were just under $359,000. Each player on the winning Lions team received $2,424, while Browns players made $1,654 each, the highest to date.
Robert Lawrence Layne was an American football quarterback who played for 15 seasons in the National Football League. He played for the Chicago Bears in 1948, the New York Bulldogs in 1949, the Detroit Lions from 1950–1958, and the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1958–1962.
Ewell Doak Walker II was an American football player. He played college football as a halfback at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1948. Walker then played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the Detroit Lions for six seasons, from 1950 to 1955.
Tobin Cornelius Rote was an American football player who played quarterback for the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL), the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL), and the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos of the American Football League (AFL).
Cloyce Kennedy Box was an American football player and businessman. He played five years in the National Football League (NFL) with the Detroit Lions, was a member of NFL championship teams in 1952 and 1953, was selected as a second-team All-Pro in 1950 and a first-team All-Pro in 1952, and played in the 1951 and 1953 Pro Bowl games. On December 3, 1950, he set Detroit team records with 12 catches, four touchdown receptions, 24 points, and 302 receiving yards. He later became a successful businessman in the oil and gas business in Texas.
The 1951 National Football League Championship Game was the 19th NFL championship game, played December 23 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.
The 1964 National Football League Championship Game was the 32nd annual championship game, held on December 27 at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. With an attendance of 79,544, it was the first NFL title game to be televised by CBS.
The 1952 National Football League championship game was the 20th annual championship game, held on December 28 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.
The 1954 National Football League championship game was the league's 22nd annual championship game, held on December 26 at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Billed as the "1954 World Professional Football Championship Game," the turnover-plagued contest was won by the Cleveland Browns, who defeated the Detroit Lions 56 to 10.
The 1957 National Football League championship game was the 25th annual championship game, held on December 29 at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Michigan.
The 1935 National Football League Championship game was the third National Football League (NFL) title game, held December 15 at University of Detroit Stadium in Detroit, Michigan. The 1935 champion of the Western Division was the Detroit Lions (7–3–2) and the champion of the Eastern Division was the New York Giants (9–3).
The 1955 National Football League Championship Game was the 23rd league championship game, played on December 26 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.
The 1950 Cleveland Browns season was the team's first in the National Football League (NFL) after playing the previous four years in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), which folded after the 1949 season. The Browns finished the regular season with a 10–2 win–loss record and beat the Los Angeles Rams to win the NFL championship. It was Cleveland's fifth consecutive championship victory, the previous four having come in the AAFC.
The 1952 Cleveland Browns season was the team's third season with the National Football League and seventh season overall. They were 8–4 in the regular season and won the American Conference. Cleveland hosted the NFL Championship Game, but lost 17–7 to the Detroit Lions.
The 1953 Cleveland Browns season was the team's fourth season with the National Football League. Their start of eleven wins before losing their last game was the closest to a true perfect season in the NFL until the 1972 Miami Dolphins. After that fifteen-point loss at Philadelphia, the Browns met the Detroit Lions in the NFL Championship Game for the second straight year; the Lions won again, this time by a point at home.
The 1957 Cleveland Browns season was the team's eighth season with the National Football League. They were 9–2–1 in the regular season and won the Eastern Conference title, but lost the championship game to the Detroit Lions, 59–14.
Earl Francis "Jug" Girard was an American football player. He played ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL) as an end, halfback, quarterback, punter, kickoff returner, defensive back, and punt returner. He played for the Green Bay Packers (1948-1951), Detroit Lions (1952-1956), and Pittsburgh Steelers (1957). He won two NFL Championships with the Lions in 1952 and 1953. He played college football at the University of Wisconsin in 1944 and 1947 and was selected as a first-team All-American halfback at age 17 in 1944.
The 1957 Detroit Lions season was the franchise's 28th season in the National Football League (NFL) and their 24th as the Detroit Lions. The Lions won their fourth and most recent NFL championship.
The 1953 Detroit Lions season resulted in the Lions winning their second consecutive and third overall National Football League (NFL) championship. In their fourth year under head coach Buddy Parker, the Lions compiled a 10–2 record during the regular season, outscored opponents 271 to 205, finished in first place in the NFL's Western Division, and defeated the Cleveland Browns 17–16 in the NFL Championship Game at Briggs Stadium in Detroit.
The 1952 Detroit Lions season resulted in the Lions winning their second National Football League (NFL) championship, having won their first championship 17 years earlier in 1935. The team's co-captains were halfback Bob Hoernschemeyer and defensive tackle John Prchlik, and defensive end Jim Doran was selected as the team's most valuable player. In their third year under head coach Buddy Parker, the 1952 Lions compiled a 9–3 record during the regular season, finished in a tie with the Los Angeles Rams for first place in the NFL's National Conference, defeated the Rams in a tiebreaker game, and defeated the Cleveland Browns, 17–7, in the 1952 NFL Championship Game at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland.
The 1956 Detroit Lions season was their 27th in the league. The team improved on their previous season's output of 3–9, winning nine games. Despite the improvement, they missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Harold Sauerbrie, "Browns Lose Title Game, 17–16", Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 27, 1953, Browns history database retrieved December 12, 2007