Game 4: 1948, The perfect season, 15-0 Browns vs Buffalo Bills
A perfect season? Surely, the Village Elliot made this up. Everyone knows that the Miami Dolphins are the only team in pro football history to go undefeated, right? Not so.
Your Cleveland Browns went undefeated in 1948, 15-0, but the NFL decided it should not count because it happened in the rival league. Sure, whatever you want, but IT DID HAPPEN. 1948, by the way, was the year that the Cleveland Indians won the World Series, so, all in all, it was a rather good year for Cleveland sports.
Truthfully, the game of the year had already been played, as Cleveland knocked out the San Francisco 49ers with the 31-28 victory described in the previous slide. The Browns and 49ers were clearly the class of the league. In the Eastern Division, the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Colts managed to both stumble through the season with identical 7-7 records, both teams barely scoring more points than their opponents. That forced an extra playoff game in order to see which team would be punished by having to play the Browns.
That would be the Buffalo Bills.
That Championship Sunday, the Buffalo Bills played a fantastic game, holding the Browns well under 100 points.
George Ratterman of the Bills (an impressive 27.8 completion percentage and 24 passing yards, with only three interceptions) shared the quarterback duties with Jim Still. Still went over the .300 mark on 6 for 18, which would have been great in baseball. Unfortunately, it was football. He also outperformed Ratterman with only two interceptions instead of three. Shockingly, Ratterman would later become Otto Graham‘s backup when the Browns finally entered the NFL.
Buffalo did not fumble the ball that day. However, they did not run it very much either, averaging fewer than two yards per carry on 33 carries for 63 yards. Again, 1.91 yards per carry would be great if it were baseball and we were talking about earned run average, but unfortunately, it was football.
The Browns got 133 yards from Marion Motley on 14 carries or 9.5 yards per carry. In all, they rolled up 215 yards on the ground and four rushing touchdowns. The final score was 49-7 even though the Browns were trying their best to not embarrass their opponents. Honest.
The Youtube video is mislabeled as being from 1949, but definitely it is from the 1948 season. It also contains the 1948 NFL Championship between Philadelphia and Chicago Cardinals. The video is reasonably high quality, although the fake cheering soundtrack is a bit annoying.