1980 Cleveland Browns season

1980 Cleveland Browns season
Head coach Sam Rutigliano
Owner Art Modell
Home field Cleveland Municipal Stadium
Record 11–5
Division place 1st AFC Central
Playoff finish Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs (Raiders) 14–12

The 1980 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 35th, and 31st season in the National Football League. The Browns finished the regular season with eleven wins and five losses, and their first division title in nine years, winning a tiebreaker with the Houston Oilers.

For the second straight year, Browns head coach Sam Rutigliano was named NFL Coach of the Year, and quarterback Brian Sipe was named the league's Most Valuable Player.

The 1980 Cleveland Browns were known as the Kardiac Kids for having several games decided in the final moments. The 1980 season was the first time that Cleveland had qualified for the postseason since 1972.

Rallying from a 10–0 first-half deficit against Cincinnati, the Browns came back to beat the Bengals 27–24 to finally snare the Central championship. Don Cockroft kicked the game-winning 22-yard field goal with 1:25 left, then the Bengals got as far as the Cleveland 14 before time ran out.

The Browns played their first home playoff game in nine seasons against the Raiders, in what has become known as the Red Right 88 game. The Browns marched to the Oakland 13 in the waning seconds trailing by 14–12, but Brian Sipe's pass into the end zone for Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome was intercepted, ending Cleveland's season

Sipe had a career year, throwing for 4,132 yards and 30 touchdowns, with just 14 interceptions.

Five Browns had 50 or more receptions, led by running back Mike Pruitt with 63. Pruitt also rushed for over 1,000 yards for the second straight year (1,034) and six touchdowns. Running back Calvin Hill, primarily a third-down pass receiver, recorded six touchdowns among his 27 catches. Wide receiver Ricky Feacher grabbed just 10 passes, but four went for scores, including two within a matter of minutes in the division-clinching win over the Bengals.

To commemorate the Browns success during the 1980 holiday season, a version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was recorded,[1] entitled "The Twelve Days of a Cleveland Browns Christmas," each day mentioned a Browns player on a "Rutigliano Super Bowl team".[2] [3]


NFL Draft

The following were selected in the 1980 NFL Draft.

Round Overall Player Position School/Club Team
127Charles WhiteRunning Back USC
254Cleveland CrosbyDefensive End Wisconsin
372Cliff OdomLinebacker University of Texas at Arlington
499Ron CrewsNose Tackle UNLV
4109Paul McDonaldQuarterback USC
5116Elvis FranksDefensive End Morgan State
8209Jeff CopelandLinebacker Texas Tech
9236Roy De WaltRunning Back University of Texas at Arlington
10263Kevin FidelCenter San Diego State
11294Roland SalesRunning Back Arkansas
12321Marcus JacksonDefensive End Purdue


Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 7, 1980 at New England Patriots L 34–17
2 September 15, 1980 Houston Oilers L 16–7
3 September 21, 1980 Kansas City Chiefs W 20–13
4 September 28, 1980 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 34–27
5 October 5, 1980 Denver Broncos L 19–16
6 October 12, 1980 at Seattle Seahawks W 27–3
7 October 19, 1980 Green Bay Packers W 26–21
8 October 26, 1980 Pittsburgh Steelers W 27–26
9 November 3, 1980 Chicago Bears W 27–21
10 November 9, 1980 at Baltimore Colts W 28–27
11 November 16, 1980 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 16–13
12 November 23, 1980 Cincinnati Bengals W 31–7
13 November 30, 1980 at Houston Oilers W 17–14
14 December 7, 1980 New York Jets W 17–14
15 December 14, 1980 at Minnesota Vikings L 28–23
16 December 21, 1980 at Cincinnati Bengals W 27–24

Game summaries

Week 3

1 234Total
Chiefs 0 670 13
Browns 0 7130 20


Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 11

Week 15

Week 16


AFC Central
Cleveland Browns(2) 11 5 0 .688 4–2 8–4 357 310 W1
Houston Oilers(5) 11 5 0 .688 4–2 7–5 295 251 W3
Pittsburgh Steelers 9 7 0 .563 2–4 5–7 352 313 L1
Cincinnati Bengals 6 10 0 .375 2–4 4–8 244 312 L1


1980 Cleveland Browns roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists
  • 71 Matt Miller T (IR)
  • 75 Cleveland Crosby DE (Inactive)

Rookies in italics


Son of the Kardiac Kids

The 2007 Cleveland Browns had a season similar to the Kardiac Kids, with several games being decided in the final minutes or in overtime. One game in particular against the Baltimore Ravens, which the Browns won in overtime because of a reversed call on a field goal by kicker Phil Dawson, led the Cleveland Plain Dealer to publish an editorial calling the 2007 Browns "The 'Son of the Kardiac Kids'" . The similarities have been at least acknowledged by the organization, with offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski being quoted in the article calling his team "The Kardiac Kids' little brother."


AFC Divisional Playoff

1 2 3 4 Total
Raiders 0 7 0 7 14
Browns 0 6 6 0 12

at Cleveland Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

Red Right 88

Main article: Red Right 88

AFC Divisional Playoff Game (Home) January 4, 1981 – Browns 12, Oakland Raiders 14 In sub-zero conditions on Cleveland's windy Lakefront, the Browns and Raiders battled into the waning moments of the contest. Down 14–12 and having mounted a 72-yard drive, the Browns were within striking distance at the Oakland 13-yard line with less than a minute remaining. Although it was only second down, Don Cockroft had already missed two field goal attempts in the swirling winds. Browns Coach Sam Rutigliano chose a more aggressive strategy, opting to go for the kill and pass the ball on second down instead of conservatively running the ball and then, perhaps, settling for a last second field goal. The play called was Red Right 88, which was intended for Dave Logan. However, Ozzie Newsome managed to get clear in the Raiders endzone and Sipe fired the ball to him—but the wind managed to interfere with the plan and heartbreak was the outcome for the frozen 77,655 Cleveland faithful: the ball was intercepted by Oakland Cornerback Mike Davis. The 1980 season will be remembered fondly albeit bittersweet, but the game would go down in Browns history (along with The Drive and The Fumble) as one of the franchises sadder moments.

Awards and records


  1. Recorded by Clark Walter, Mack Hayes and Sandra Hayes
  2. The Browns did not win the Super Bowl or reach the AFC Championship Game in 1980.
  3. Season summary and statistics at Cleveland Browns.com
  4. "1980 NFL Draft Listing - Pro-Football-Reference.com". Archived from the original on 2009-07-26. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  5. Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Dec-23.
  6. Although quarterback Otto Graham had more overall passing yards with the Browns from 1946 to 1955, only the last six of these seasons were in the NFL; Graham's first four seasons were in the AAFC. Pro-Football-Reference.com: For combined seasons, from 1920 to 1980, played in the NFL, playing for the Cleveland Browns, played QB, sorted by descending Passing Yds.
  7. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/cle/1980_roster.htm
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/4/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.