1965 Cleveland Browns-Eastern Champs and Two Duds

In 1965 the Cleveland Browns not only won the Eastern Conference; they were in a conference all by themselves.  They had a four game bulge over the 7-7 Dallas Cowboys, who were in second place.  The Browns record of 11-3 was the best in the NFL.  They were two games that Cleveland lost in blowouts.  It’s often best in pro football to have all traumas in one or two games.

Week 2 at Cleveland vs the St. Louis Cardinals; the Cardinals defeated the Browns   49 to 13.  Cleveland won the opener and the Cardinals lost.

Cards quarterback Charlie Johnson completed 11 passes for 310 yards and six touchdowns.  Sonny Randle caught seven passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns.   On defense, St. Louis intercepted six passes for 114 yards in returns and had six sacks for 41 yards in losses. Even with this blowout, there were three Browns standouts:

–Gary Collins caught six passes for 116 yards and Cleveland’s only touchdown;

–Erich Barnes returned an interception 35 yards;

–Would you believe Jimmy Brown carried 17 times for 110 yards or a 6.5 yard average?

Week 13 at Los Angeles vs the Cleveland Browns; Coming into this game, the Browns were  10-2 and the Rams 3-9.  Rams won 42 to 7.

The Rams had defeated the Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis  Cardinals on the two previous weeks.  This game, Roman Gabriel completed 15 passes for 323 yards and six touchdowns.  Tommy MacDonald caught six passes for an even 200 yards and three touchdowns.

For Cleveland, Frank Ryan and Jim Ninowski each played at half at quarterback.  The Rams Fearsome Foursome sacked the quarterback four times for 23 yards in losses.  Cleveland had just 40 yards in rushing and six first downs.  Jimmy Brown had one of his worst games; just 20 yards running.


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