|Duration||September 27 -|
December 13, 1953
|East Champions||Cleveland Browns|
|West Champions||Detroit Lions|
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 blue and white 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.
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.
|1||4 teams||1-0-0||Tie (Cle, Was)||1-0-0|
|2||Tie (Det, SF)||2-0-0||Cleveland Browns||2-0-0|
|3||Detroit Lions||3-0-0||Cleveland Browns||3-0-0|
|4||3 teams||3-1-0||Cleveland Browns||4-0-0|
|5||Tie (Det, LA)||4-1-0||Cleveland Browns||5-0-0|
|6||Los Angeles Rams||5-1-0||Cleveland Browns||6-0-0|
|7||3 teams||5-2-0||Cleveland Browns||7-0-0|
|8||Detroit Lions||6-2-0||Cleveland Browns||8-0-0|
|9||Detroit Lions||7-2-0||Cleveland Browns||9-0-0|
|10||Detroit Lions||8-2-0||Cleveland Browns||10-0-0|
|11||Detroit Lions||9-2-0||Cleveland Browns||11-0-0|
|12||Detroit Lions||10-2-0||Cleveland Browns||11-1-0|
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
|Rushing||Joe Perry||San Francisco||1,018|