The Cleveland Browns will make their return to Sunday Night Football when they host the Los Angeles Rams in Week 3 of the 2019 regular season.
The game will mark the Browns first appearance on a Sunday night game since the 2008 season when they hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers for in Week 2 of that season.
The Browns and the Rams have been an infrequent matchup since Cleveland entered the NFL in 1950. The two teams have met just 20 times in the regular season and this will be the first time the Rams have visited Cleveland since the 2011.
Even though they have not been regular fixtures on the schedule, the Browns and the Rams have had some memorable matchups, and here are five of the most memorable meetings between the two teams. (All game summaries courtesy of Jonathan Knight’s The Browns Bible.)
Browns 45, Rams 31 (Nov. 24, 1957)
Playing in front of their largest home crowd in four years, the Browns overcame a 28-17 third-quarter deficit to pull out a victory and run their unbeaten streak to five games. Cleveland’s offensive attack was led by rookie running back Jim Brown, who in just his ninth game set an NFL record with 237 rushing yards on 31 attempts and added four rushing touchdowns. The Browns totaled 330 rushing yards on the day and averaged almost six yards per carry. Brown would tie his rushing total again four years later and his mark would stand as a franchise record for 52 years. (Box score)
Browns 30, Rams 17 (Oct. 26, 1987)
The league’s players went out on strike following Week 2 of the season and the owners filled the gap with replacement players. The strike ended in mid-October and the regular players returned in time for a Monday night home game against the Rams. Safety Felix Wright had a pair of interceptions in the first half, returning one 40 yards for a touchdown, as part of a defensive effort that forced four turnovers and held Rams running back Eric Dickerson to just 38 rushing yards in his final game in a Rams uniform. (Box score)
Rams 24, Browns 17 (NFL Championship Game, Dec. 23, 1951)
Cleveland’s loss to the Rams is memorable because it marked the first time in franchise history that the Browns did not close out a season as their league’s champions. The Browns held a 10-7 lead at halftime as Dub Jones scored on a 17-yard pass from Otto Graham and Lou Groza converted an NFL postseason record 52-yard field goal. Cleveland would turn the ball over four times — including three interceptions by Graham - and the Rams took the lead for good on a 73-yard touchdown pass by Norm Van Brocklin to Tom Fears. Cleveland had one last chance following a blocked field goal by Bill Willis, but could not convert a fourth-down attempt and came out on the losing end. (Box score)
Browns 38, Rams 14 (NFL Championship Game, Dec. 26, 1955)
It took four years, but the Browns earned their revenge against the Rams in front of 87,695 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. In his final NFL game, quarterback Otto Graham passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more as the Browns rolled up 371 yards of offense on their way to the franchise’s third NFL championship in six seasons. (Box score)
Browns 30, Rams 28 (NFL Championship Game, Dec. 24, 1950)
Cleveland closed out its first season in the NFL by winning the league title in a game that featured 11 future Pro Football Hall of Famers. The Rams grabbed the lead on their first play of the game as quarterback Bob Waterfield hit Glenn Davis with an 82-yard touchdown pass. The Browns took a six-point lead midway through the third quarter after two scoring receptions by Dante Lavelli, only to see the Rams regain control with two touchdowns in the span of 25 seconds. Graham’s fourth touchdown pass of the game cut the deficit to one point, but his turnover with three minutes left in the game looked like it would seal the victory for the Rams. The Browns got the ball back on their own 32-yard-line with 1:50 remaining, and Graham led the team on a drive that culminated with Lou Groza’s championship-winning 16-yard field goal. (Box score)
The Browns and the Rams both have high expectations for the upcoming season, meaning that their Week 3 game may not only add to the list of memorable games between the two tams, but might not be the only meeting between the two teams this season.