The Detroit Lions had finished the 1953 season with a record of 10-2 and the Western Conference title. The Lions were led by quarterback Bobby Layne and running back Doak Walker.
The Cleveland Browns had finished the regular season with a record of 11-1 and won the Eastern Conference. The Browns were led by their head coach Paul Brown and quarterback Otto Graham. This was the Browns' fourth NFL championship game appearance since joining the NFL in 1950.
1 – From 1966 to 1969, the first four Super Bowls were "World Championship" games played between two independent professional football leagues, AFL and NFL, and when the league merged in 1970 the Super Bowl became the NFL Championship Game. 2 – Dates in the list denote the season, not the calendar year in which the championship game was played. For instance, Super Bowl XLI was played in 2007, but was the championship for the 2006 season.