6 Facts About the Cleveland Browns


The Cleveland Browns were originally founded in 1945 as part of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), which would eventually fold following the 1949 season. It was at that time that the Browns would make their move to the National Football League (NFL). Their early success would see multiple NFL Championship victories, and their roster would see stars who are still revered today like Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown. However, since returning to the league for the 1999 NFL season, success hasn’t been seen often for the Cleveland Browns.

Here are six interesting facts about the Cleveland Browns, who today play in the AFC North Division alongside the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals.

    1. Since 1987, the Cleveland Browns are the only NFL franchise to hold the 1st overall selection in the NFL Draft in two consecutive years – and they’ve done it twice. (source) The world of football has not been particularly kind to the Cleveland Browns in this millenium, as the franchise has had more losing seasons than not. In fact, the Cleveland Browns are the only franchise since the 1986-1987 Tampa Bay Buccaneers to hold the first overall selection in the NFL Draft in back-to-back years. The Browns held the first overall pick in both 1999 and 2000, and then again in 2017 and 2018. In recent years, the Browns selected Myles Garrett and Baker Mayfield in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
    1. The Cleveland Browns are one of only two NFL franchises ever go to winless on a schedule of at least 16 games. (source) Since the National Football League expanded to a 16-game schedule for the 1978 regular season, only two teams have managed to go winless in a single season, with those being the 2008 Detroit Lions and 2017 Cleveland Browns, who both went 0-16. The Browns had finished the season prior with a 1-15 record, making their 1-31 record over the course of the 2016 and 2017 seasons one of the worst stretches in the history of the NFL.
    1. Hall of Fame Running Back Jim Brown holds the Cleveland Browns franchise record for the most rushing yards with 12,312 yards. (source) With the sixth overall selection of the 1957 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected running back Jim Brown out of Syracuse University. The eventual three time NFL MVP award winner went on to play for the Cleveland Browns from 1957 through 1965, registering 12,312 yards on the ground for his NFL career. Today, Jim Brown is regarded as one of the greatest running backs in the history of the National Football League, and is ranked 11th all-time in terms of career rushing yards, a list topped by Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith (18,355 yards).
    1. Since returning to the NFL for the 1999 season, the Cleveland Browns have three winning seasons. (source) The Browns haven’t seen much success since their return, and since the 1999 NFL season, have only had winning seasons in 2002 (9-7), 2007 (10-6) and 2020 (11-5). Over those three winning seasons, the Browns only made the playoffs in 2007 and 2020, with 2020 being the only season where they advanced past the Wild Cound Round. The Cleveland Browns have never won the AFC North Division Title since their return either, as the Division Championships over this span have gone to their rivals – the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens or Cincinnati Bengals.
    1. During their first four seasons as a franchise, the Cleveland Browns won the NFL Championship every single year. (source) The Cleveland Browns were instituted as a professional franchise in 1946, and went on to win the AAFC Championship in 1946, 1947, 1948 and 1949. The All-America Football Conference (AAFC) would dissolve following their 1949 season, which would prompt the Cleveland Browns to join the National Football League (NFL) for the 1950 season.
    1. The Cleveland Browns are one of four NFL franchises to have never played in the Super Bowl. (source) The Cleveland Browns had early success and won four NFL Championships (1950, 1954, 1955 and 1964), but they’ve never been able to make it to the Super Bowl. The Browns share this dubious distinction with three other NFL franchises — the Houston Texans, Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Cleveland Browns have been a professional football team for nearly 100 years now! If you’re a fan out there and have more fun Cleveland Browns facts to share about this storied franchise, let us know about them in the comments below!


Featured image photo credit: Eric Drost, 2019. Originally found on Wikimedia.org. Image was resized and cropped. Creative Commons 2.0.


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