1953 NFL season

Last updated

1953 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 27 
December 13, 1953
East Champions Cleveland Browns
West Champions Detroit Lions
Championship Game
Champions Detroit Lions

The 1953 NFL season was the 34th regular season of the National Football League. The names of the American and National conferences were changed to the Eastern and Western conferences.

Contents

Meanwhile, a Baltimore, Maryland, group headed by Carroll Rosenbloom was granted an NFL team, and was awarded the holdings of the defunct Dallas Texans organization, who can trace their lineage to the Dayton Triangles, founded in 1913, thus sending Rosenbloom a franchise with a tenuous connection to being the final remaining Ohio League member. The new team was named the Baltimore Colts, after the unrelated previous team that folded after the 1950 season, and kept the color scheme of the Triangles-Texans franchise. The 12 teams of this NFL season continued for the rest of the 1950s; these teams became known as "old-line" teams as they predated the 1960 launch of the American Football League.

The 1953 season ended on December 27 with the NFL championship game; the Detroit Lions defeated the Cleveland Browns for the second year in a row.

Draft

The 1953 NFL Draft was held on January 22, 1953, at Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia. With the first pick, the San Francisco 49ers selected defensive end Harry Babcock from Georgia.

Major rule changes

Conference races

For 1953, the former American and National Conferences of the previous three seasons were renamed the Eastern and Western Conferences, respectively. The Western race saw the Rams beat the Lions twice, in Detroit (October 18) and in L.A. (November 1), and at the midway point in Week Six, the Rams were a full game ahead in the race. In Week Seven (November 8), the 49ers beat the Rams 31–27, and the Lions won their game, to put all three teams at 5–2–0. In Week Eight, the Lions beat Green Bay 14–7, while the Rams were tied 24–24 by the Cards, and the 49ers lost 23–21 to the Browns. As both teams won their remaining games, San Francisco was always a game behind Detroit.

In the Eastern, the Cleveland Browns won their first eleven games and led wire-to-wire, clinching a playoff spot by week 10. Their shot at a 12–0–0 regular season was spoiled by a 42–27 loss in the finale on December 13, and tarnished further by the championship game loss to the Lions two weeks later.

WeekWesternRecordEasternRecord
14 teams1–0–0Tie (Cle, Was)1–0–0
2Tie (Det, SF)2–0–0Cleveland Browns2–0–0
3Detroit Lions3–0–0Cleveland Browns3–0–0
43 teams3–1–0Cleveland Browns4–0–0
5Tie (Det, LA)4–1–0Cleveland Browns5–0–0
6Los Angeles Rams5–1–0Cleveland Browns6–0–0
73 teams5–2–0Cleveland Browns7–0–0
8Detroit Lions6–2–0Cleveland Browns8–0–0
9Detroit Lions7–2–0Cleveland Browns9–0–0
10Detroit Lions8–2–0Cleveland Browns10–0–0
11Detroit Lions9–2–0Cleveland Browns11–0–0
12Detroit Lions10–2–0Cleveland Browns11–1–0

Final standings

NFL Championship Game

Detroit 17, Cleveland 16 at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, on December 27, 1953

League leaders

StatisticNameTeamYards
Passing Otto Graham Cleveland 2,722
Rushing Joe Perry San Francisco 1,018
Receiving Pete Pihos Philadelphia 1,049

Awards

Coaching changes

Offseason

In-season

Stadium changes

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