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1968 Cleveland Browns season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1968 Cleveland Browns season
Head coachBlanton Collier
Home fieldCleveland Stadium
Local radioWHK
Results
Record10–4
Division place1st NFL Century
Playoff finishWon Eastern Conference Championship Game (Cowboys) 31-20
Lost NFL Championship Game (Colts) 34-0

The 1968 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 19th season with the National Football League. The Browns made it to the playoffs for the 2nd straight year thanks to an 8-game winning streak and the brilliant play of quarterback Bill Nelsen who replaced Frank Ryan as the starting quarterback prior to week 4 of their season.

Season summary

In a relative sense Browns had not done much since 1965, when they lost to the Green Bay Packers 23–12 in the NFL Championship Game. They finished 9–5 in 1966 and '67, but made the playoffs only in the second year. However, it was a short stay, as the Dallas Cowboys blew them out 52–14 in the Eastern Conference Championship Game. So with a retooled roster the Browns headed into the 1968 season, hoping to get back into serious title contention. It worked. After a slow start in which they lost two of their first three games and three of their first five, the re-tooled Browns won eight in a row before falling 27–16 to the St. Louis Cardinals in a meaningless game in the regular-season finale. The result was a 10–4 mark, the Century Division crown (by the slimmest of margins over the 9–4–1 Cardinals) and a spot in the conference title game again opposite those same Cowboys.

Only this time, the Browns advanced, beating Dallas 31–20 to get to the league title game against the Baltimore Colts. The Colts, returning to Cleveland Stadium, where they were stunned by the Browns 27–0 in the championship contest four years before, got revenge with a shutout victory of their own, 34–0.

So it was the Colts and not the Browns who headed to Super Bowl III, where they were stunned once more, this time by the New York Jets, 16–7.

The key to the Browns' turnaround in 1968 was the insertion of Bill Nelsen at quarterback early in the season. Nelsen replaced Frank Ryan, the architect of that victory over the Colts in 1964. By '68, though, he was really banged up, battling shoulder problems. Nelsen had been acquired in an offseason trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was inspired by going to a team that had a chance to win. At the time, the Steelers were in the midst of a 6-year run without a playoff appearance.

Nelsen made an impact right away, helping to beat the Colts 30–20 to hand Baltimore its only loss in a 13–1 season.

Offseason

NFL Draft

The following were selected in the 1968 NFL Draft.

Round Overall Player Position School/Club Team
1 21 Marvin Upshaw Defensive end Trinity
2 47 John Garlington Linebacker LSU
3 64 Harry Olszewski Guard Clemson
3 66 Reece Morrison Running back Texas State
4 104 Wayne Meylan Linebacker Nebraska
5 131 Mike Wempe Tackle Missouri
5 134 Jackie Jackson Running back Clemson
6 152 Nate James Defensive back Florida A&M
7 186 Dale Brady Running back Memphis
8 212 Tom Schoen Defensive back Notre Dame
9 238 David Porter Defensive tackle Michigan
10 255 James Greer Defensive end Stephen F. Austin
10 267 Alvin Mitchell Defensive back Morgan State
11 293 Jim Alcorn Quarterback Clarion
12 319 Tom Beutler Linebacker Toledo
13 348 Terry Sellers Defensive back Georgia
14 374 Edgar Whipps Running back Jackson State
15 400 Bob Baxter Flanker Memphis
16 429 Dick Sievert Defensive end Wisconsin-River Falls
17 455 Wayne McDuffie Center Florida State

[1]

Personnel

Roster

1968 Cleveland Browns roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Rookies in italics

[2]

Staff/Coaches

1968 Cleveland Browns staff
Front Office

Coaching Staff

Offensive Coaches

  Defensive Coaches

Strength & Coditioning

  • Athletic Trainer - Leo Murphy
  • Equipment Manager - Morris Kono

[3]

Exhibition schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 August 9, 1968 at Los Angeles Rams L 23–21
64,020
2 August 18, 1968 at San Francisco 49ers W 31–17
26,801
3 August 24, 1968 at New Orleans Saints L 40–27
70,045
4 August 30, 1968 at Buffalo Bills W 22–12
45,448
5 September 7, 1968 Green Bay Packers L 31–9
84,918


There was a doubleheader on September 7, 1968 Lions vs Jets (AFL) and Packers vs Browns.

Regular season schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 15, 1968 at New Orleans Saints W 24–10
74,215
2 September 22, 1968 at Dallas Cowboys L 28–7
68,733
3 September 29, 1968 Los Angeles Rams L 24–6
82,514
4 October 5, 1968 Pittsburgh Steelers W 31–24
81,865
5 October 13, 1968 St. Louis Cardinals L 27–21
79,349
6 October 20, 1968 at Baltimore Colts W 30–20
60,238
7 October 27, 1968 Atlanta Falcons W 30–7
67,723
8 November 3, 1968 at San Francisco 49ers W 33–21
31,359
9 November 10, 1968 New Orleans Saints W 35–17
71,025
10 November 17, 1968 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 45–24
41,572
11 November 24, 1968 Philadelphia Eagles W 47–13
62,338
12 December 1, 1968 New York Giants W 45–10
83,193
13 December 8, 1968 at Washington Redskins W 24–21
50,661
14 December 14, 1968 at St. Louis Cardinals L 27–16
39,746

Game summaries

Week 7: vs. Atlanta

Week 7: Atlanta Falcons at Cleveland Browns – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Falcons 0 0 077
Browns 7 13 3730

at Cleveland Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

  • Date: October 27
  • Game time: 1:30 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 45°F, relative humidity 63%, round (wind) 17 MPH
  • Game attendance: 67,723
  • TV announcers (CBS): Frank Glieber (play–by–play), Eddie LeBaron (color commentator) and John Fitzgerald (sideline reporter)
  • [1]
Game information

Playoffs

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Eastern Conference December 21, 1968 Dallas Cowboys W 31–20
81,497
NFL Championship December 29, 1968 Baltimore Colts L 34–0
80,628

Standings

NFL Century
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Cleveland Browns 10 4 0 .714 4–2 7–3 394 273 L1
St. Louis Cardinals 9 4 1 .692 5–0–1 8–1–1 325 289 W4
New Orleans Saints 4 9 1 .308 2–4 3–7 246 327 W1
Pittsburgh Steelers 2 11 1 .154 0–5–1 1–8–1 244 397 L5

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

Awards and honors

References

  1. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1968.htm
  2. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/cle/1968_roster.htm
  3. ^ https://www.profootballarchives.com/1968nflcle.html
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 19, 2009. Retrieved June 28, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links

This page was last edited on 9 September 2019, at 04:17
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