Today in sports history, the mighty Cleveland Browns matched up with the Baltimore Colts for the NFL championship. The game was held in Cleveland, Ohio and was the first football game to ever be broadcast by CBS.
The Colts were led by two of the greatest figures in NFL history, Don Shula and Johnny Unitas. The Browns came into the game, led by Jim Brown. The Colts entered the game as seven-point favorites, but the Browns shut out the Colts.
The 1964 NFL Championship was the last championship for Cleveland professional sports until LeBron James’ Cavaliers won the NBA title in 2016.
Browns Shut Out Colts in 1964 NFL Championship | Today in Sports History
Snow fell in the first half, as neither team could score. The lack of scoring was due in part to the conditions of the weather, as players were slipping, fumbling and not being able to hit open guys.
Coming out of halftime, the Browns made adjustments and worked with the wind at their back. The Browns immediately sent pressure at Unitas and the Colts punted into the wind. After a missed field goal from Cleveland, the Browns once again held Unitas and the Colts to a three and out. That’s when Hall of Famer Jim Brown got going. He set up the first touchdown of the game, taking a screen pass almost 50 yards for a touchdown. On the ensuing play, quarterback Frank Ryan found receiver Gary Collins for the first touchdown of the game.
Collins found the end zone for a second time, when he was left in the middle of the field on the next Browns possession. After a myriad of punts and turnovers from the Colts, Collins scored his third touchdown of the game. With 27 seconds remaining, the game was halted as thousands of Browns fans ran on the field to celebrate the victory with the team.
All in all, Unitas finished the night throwing two interceptions and 95 yards and on 12 completions. Jim Brown finished with 27 carries for 114 yards. At the time, Collins set a championship record with three touchdown receptions. Jerry Rice is the only player to accomplish this, he did it twice.