Browns chronology

November 10, 1995

1946-1952

1946: The Rams left for Los Angeles, and Arthur "Mickey" McBride brought a team to Cleveland as part of the eight-team AAFC. They were an instant success on the field with former Ohio State coach Paul Brown leading quarterback Otto Graham (a single-wing tailback at Northwestern) and running back Marion Motley to a 12-2 record. Kicker Lou Groza led the league in scoring. Motley and his lead blocker, Bill Willis, were the first black professional football players since 1933. On Dec. 22, Cleveland defeated the New York Yankees, 14-9, for the first AAFC championship. The Browns were just as successful at the gate, drawing 57,000 fans per game.

1947: The Browns walked over the AAFC competition with a 12-1-1 record and a second championship. Graham was the top quarterback in the league and had capable receivers in Dante Lavelli and Mac Speedie. Motley rushed for 889 yards on 146 carries. The Browns defeated the first-year Baltimore Colts 28-0 and 48-0. On Dec. 14, the Browns defeated the New York Yankees, 14-3, in the title game for the second straight year.

1948: On Nov. 14, a crowd of 82,000 piled into Municipal Stadium in the season's 10th week to watch the undefeated Browns and the undefeated San Francisco 49ers play. The Browns won, 14-7, and then won the rematch three weeks later, 31-28, on their way to a 14-0 season. They beat Buffalo in the title game, 49-7, as Motley scored three touchdowns and Edgar "Special Delivery" Jones added two. On Dec. 19, eight players were named first or second team all-AAFC.

1949: On Oct. 9, the Browns lost their first game in two years (30 games), 56-28, to the 49ers in San Francisco and finished the regular season 9-1-2. On Dec. 4, Cleveland beat Buffalo, 31-21, in the playoffs. On Dec. 11, the Browns returned to San Francisco and won their fourth and final AAFC title with a 21-7 victory over the 49ers.

1950: Cleveland was one of four AAFC teams that moved to the NFL. The Browns picked up right where they left off, winning 10 games and losing only two, both to the Giants. Motley won the rushing title with 810 yards. On Dec. 17, Cleveland avenged its two regular-season losses to the Giants with an 8-3 playoff victory. On Christmas Eve, the Rams returned to Cleveland and were defeated, 30-28. The Browns needed a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Graham to Rex Bumgardner and a field goal from Groza in the final minutes to pull out the Browns' fifth consecutive title, their first NFL title.

1951: The Browns went 11-1 in the regular season. Len Ford anchored the defense. On Dec. 23, the Rams defeated the Browns for the NFL title, 24-17, as Norm Van Brocklin threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to Tom Fears to break a fourth-quarter tie.

1952: Cleveland suffered four losses, its most ever, but still returned to the title game with an 8-4 record. On Dec. 28, Detroit stopped the Browns, 17-7, in the championship game.

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Browns in Hall of Fame

Name ... ... ... ... Yr Ind ... ... ... Pos ... ... ... ... Yrs w/Cleve.

Otto Graham .. .. .. '65 ... .. ... ... QB ... ... .. .. .. '46-55

Led Browns to four AAFC and three NFL championships. Helped the Browns advance to title game 10 consecutive seasons. Completed 1,464 of 2,626 passes for 23,584 career yards and 174 touchdowns. His No. 14 (also wore No. 60) was retired by the Browns.

Paul Brown .. .. ... '67 ... ... .. ... HC* .. ... .. .. .. '46-62

Coached the Browns to three NFL championships and four AAFC titles. Led Browns to the championship game seven times in the NFL.

Marion Motley ... .. '68 ... ... .. ... HB ... ... .. .. .. '46-53

Ran for 4,712 yards and 39 touchdowns. His career NFL stats with the Browns include 1,688 yards rushing and eight touchdowns.

Jim Brown ... ... .. '71 ... ... .. ... FB ... ... .. .. .. '57-65

Led the NFL in rushing eight times in his nine-year career. Finished with 12,312 yards rushing and 106 touchdowns in 118 games. Gained over 1,000 yards seven of his nine seasons. Topped the league in touchdowns for an NFL-record five seasons. Broke the 100-yard mark in 58 games. Caught 262 passes for 2,499 yards and 20 touchdowns. Holds the Browns career marks in rushing and combined yardage. His No. 32 was retired by the Browns.

Lou Groza ... ... .. '74 .. ... ... ... T/K ... .. .. .. .. '46-59

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... '61-67

His 17 NFL seasons is a club mark. Scored 1,349 NFL points, converting 641 of 658 PATs and 234 of 405 field-goal attempts. Also was an All-Pro offensive tackle. His No. 76 was retired by the Browns.

Dante Lavelli ... .. '75 ... ... ... .. E ... ... ... ... '46-56

Caught 386 passes for 6,488 yards and 62 touchdowns.

Len Ford ... ... ... '76 ... ... ... .. DE ... ... ... .. '50-57

An eight-year standout for the Browns at right defensive end.

Bill Willis .. .. .. '77 ... ... ... .. G ... ... ... ... '46-53

After a standout career at Ohio State, coached for one season (1945) before joining Browns. In his first season, converted from tackle to guard.

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