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1951 NFL Championship Game

1951 NFL Championship Game
1 2 3 4 Total
Cleveland Browns 0 10 0 7 17
Los Angeles Rams 0 7 7 10 24
Date December 23, 1951
Stadium Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
City Los Angeles, CA
Attendance 59,475
TV/Radio in the United States
TV Network DuMont
TV Announcers Harry Wismer and Earl Gillespie
Previous game Next game
1950 1952

In the 1951 National Football League Championship Game, the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cleveland Browns, 24–17, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California on December 23, 1951. This Championship Game was the first one televised coast-to-coast.[1] The DuMont Network purchased the rights to do so from the NFL for $95,000.[2][3][4][5] This was the 19th title game in NFL history.

The Rams were the first to score with a 1-yard run by fullback Dick Hoerner in the second quarter. The Browns answered back with an NFL Championship record 52-yard field goal by Lou Groza. They later took the lead with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Otto Graham to Dub Jones. The Browns take the lead at halftime 10–7.

In the third quarter Larry Brink landed a hard tackle on Graham causing him to fumble the ball. Andy Robustelli picked up the ball on the Cleveland 24 and returned it to the Cleveland 2. On the third play of the drive, "Deacon" Dan Towler ran the ball in for a touchdown from the one-yard line giving the Rams a 14–10 lead.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Rams increased their lead with a Bob Waterfield 17-yard field goal. The Browns answered back with an 8-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard touchdown run by Ken Carpenter, tying the game at 17–17. Twenty-five seconds later late in the fourth quarter, Tom Fears beat defenders Cliff Lewis and Tommy James and received a Norm Van Brocklin pass at midfield. Fears raced to the endzone for a 73-yard touchdown, securing a Rams 24–17 win and the 1951 NFL title. This would be the last NFL Title for the Rams until Super Bowl XXXIV 48 years later.

Scoring summary

  • RAM – TD, Hoerner 1 run (Waterfield kick) 7–0 LA
  • CLE – FG, Groza 52 7–3 LA
  • CLE – TD, Jones 17 pass from Graham (Groza kick) 10–7 CLE
  • RAM – TD, Towler 1 run (Waterfield kick) 14–10 LA
  • RAM – FG, Waterfield 17 17–10 LA
  • CLE – TD, Carpenter 5 run (Groza kick) 17–17 TIE
  • RAM – TD, Fears 73 pass from Van Brocklin (Waterfield kick) 24–17 LA


  1. ^ MacCambridge, 2005, p. 73.
  2. ^ Hall, Dan (May 22, 1951). "Hallucinations".  
  3. ^ "Pro Football and DuMont Sign a $475,000 TV Pact".  
  4. ^ "Fans Rush for Tickets to NFL Playoff Game".  The Pittsburgh Press and Patton p. 35 incorrectly state it was for $75,000.
  5. ^ Rader, 1984, p. 35.


  • NFL Chronology: 1951. Retrieved September 17, 2006.
  • Brown, Paul; with Clary, Jack (1979). PB, the Paul Brown Story. New York: Atheneum.
  • Hession, Joseph (1987). The Rams: Five Decades of Football. San Francisco: Foghorn Press.
  • MacCambridge, Michael (2005). America's Game. New York: Anchor Books ISBN 978-0-307-48143-6
  • Powers, Ron (1984). Supertube: The Rise of Television Sports. New York: Coward-McCann. ISBN 0-698-11253-9
  • Rader, Benjamin G. (1984). In its Own Image: How Television Has Transformed Sports. New York: The Free Press. ISBN 0-02-925700-X pp. 83–99.
  • Riffenburgh, Beau, (1997). "Championships & Playoffs." Eds Silverman, Matthew, et al. Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. New York: HarperCollins. 178–262. ISBN 0-06-270174-6
  • Sauerbrie, Harold (December 23, 1951). "Browns Lose Title to Rams, 24–17".  
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