The 1946 Cleveland Browns season marked the team's inaugural season in the All-America Football Conference. The Browns, coached by Paul Brown, ended their first season in the league with a record of 12–2, winning the Western Division. Led by quarterback Otto Graham and fullback Marion Motley, the team advanced to the AAFC Championship Game, and defeated the New York Yankees, 14-9.
|1946 Cleveland Browns season|
|Head Coach||Paul Brown|
|Home Field||Cleveland Stadium|
|Place||1st AAFC Western|
|Playoff Finish||Won AAFC Championship (1)|
|Previous season||Next season|
The Browns started off the season strong, winning their first seven games, four of them at home. The team outscored their opponents 180 to 34. The Browns opened the season, and kicked-off the AAFC's first game, against the Miami Seahawks. The Browns dominated the Seahawks, winning 44-0. Following the team's seven-game winning streak, the Browns faced the San Francisco 49ers at home, losing their first game, 34–20. The Browns traveled to Los Angeles where they were defeated by the Los Angeles Dons, 17-16. The short-lived losing streak would be broken when the Browns avenged their loss to the 49ers in San Francisco by defeating the 49ers, 14–7. The Browns would go on to win their final five games of the season, including a 66–14 blow-out of the Brooklyn Dodgers, outscoring their opponents 207 to 52.
Dante Lavelli lead the league in receiving with 843 yards and 8 touchdowns, while Lou Groza lead the league in points-scored with 84 on 13 field goals and 45 point-after attempts. Lou Rymkus played the entire season on offense and defense with a serious knee injury that required surgery at year's end.
1946 AAFC championship game
The Cleveland Browns advanced to the AAFC's first ever league championship on December 22, 1946, at Cleveland Stadium. The team competed against the New York Yankees, the strongest team in the AAFC's Eastern Division, with a record of 10–3–1. Scoring was minimal in the championship game, with the Browns edging out the Yankees, 14-9. Fullback Marion Motley scored first for the Browns in the second quarter on a two-yard touchdown run, following by quarterback Otto Graham's 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dante Lavelli in the fourth quarter.
|1||1946||Brooklyn Dodgers||W 35-20||1–0||Rubber Bowl||35,964|
Regular season results
|1||September 6, 1946||Miami Seahawks||W 44-0||1–0||Cleveland Stadium||60,135|
|2||September 13, 1946||@ Chicago Rockets||W 20–6||2–0||Soldier Field||51,962|
|3||September 22, 1946||@ Buffalo Bisons||W 28–0||3–0||War Memorial Stadium||30,302|
|4||September 29, 1946||New York Yankees||W 24-7||4–0||Cleveland Stadium||57,084|
|5||October 6, 1946||Brooklyn Dodgers||W 26-7||5–0||Cleveland Stadium||43,713|
|6||October 12, 1946||@ New York Yankees||W 7–0||6–0||Yankee Stadium||34,252|
|7||October 20, 1946||Los Angeles Dons||W 31-14||7–0||Cleveland Stadium||71,134|
|8||October 27, 1946||San Francisco 49ers||L 34–20||7–1||Cleveland Stadium||70,385|
|9||November 3, 1946||@ Los Angeles Dons||L 17–16||7–2||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||24,800|
|10||November 10, 1946||@ San Francisco 49ers||W 14–7||8–2||Kezar Stadium||41,061|
|11||November 17, 1946||Chicago Rockets||W 51-14||9–2||Cleveland Stadium||60,457|
|12||November 24, 1946||Buffalo Bisons||W 42-17||10–2||Cleveland Stadium||37,054|
|13||December 3, 1946||@ Miami Seahawks||W 34–0||11–2||Miami Orange Bowl||9,038|
|14||December 8, 1946||@ Brooklyn Dodgers||W 66–14||12–2||Ebbets Field||14,600|
|San Francisco 49ers||9||5||0||.643|
|Los Angeles Dons||7||5||2||.500|
|Championship game||December 22, 1946||New York Yankees||W 14-9||1–0||Cleveland Stadium||40,469|
- The Best Show in Football:The 1946-1955 Cleveland Browns, p.25, Andy Piascik, Taylor Trade Publishing, 2007, ISBN 978-1-58979-360-6
- "History: 1946". Cleveland Browns official Web site. Archived from the original on 2006-10-21. http://web.archive.org/web/20061021102622/http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/team/history/results/1946_stats.php. Retrieved 2007-04-14.
- Winning percentage does not factor in ties.