1953 NFL Season
Get 1953 NFL Season essential facts below. View Videos or join the 1953 NFL Season discussion. Add 1953 NFL Season to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
1953 NFL Season

1953 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 27 -
December 13, 1953
East ChampionsCleveland Browns
West ChampionsDetroit Lions
Championship Game
ChampionsDetroit 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.

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.

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.


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

  • The definition of illegal motion is clarified. A player must be moving directly forward at the snap to be considered illegally in motion.

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.

Week Western Record Eastern Record
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

Final standings

NFL Championship Game

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

League leaders

Statistic Name Team Yards
Passing Otto Graham Cleveland 2,722
Rushing Joe Perry San Francisco 1,018
Receiving Pete Pihos Philadelphia 1,049


Coaching changes



Stadium changes


  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1951-1960 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes