January 6, 2014

MVP Profile: Jim Brown, 1965

Fullback, Cleveland Browns

Age: 29
9th season in pro football & with Browns
College: Syracuse
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 228

Following an outstanding career at Syracuse, in which he distinguished himself as an all-around athlete (lacrosse, basketball, track & field) as well as in football, Brown was chosen in the first round of the 1957 NFL draft by the Browns. With his blend of speed, power, and agility, he moved quickly into the starting lineup as a rookie, leading the league in rushing with 942 yards that included a single-game record at the time of 237 yards. He received MVP as well as Rookie of the Year honors, was a consensus first-team All-Pro and was selected to the Pro Bowl. In 1958, Brown set a new single-season rushing record with 1527 yards, again receiving MVP honors, and continued to lead the NFL in rushing in 1959, ’60, and ’61. He was a consensus first-team All-NFL selection as well as Pro Bowl selection following all of those seasons. Following a relatively down year in 1962, Brown broke his own single-season rushing record with 1863 yards, had a career-high 2131 yards from scrimmage, and again received MVP recognition. In 1964, he topped the league with 1446 rushing yards and ran for another 114 yards in the NFL Championship game, won by the Browns. 

1965 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 289 [1]
Most attempts, game - 29 (for 168 yds.) vs. Pittsburgh 10/9
Yards – 1544 [1]
Most yards, game – 177 yards (on 24 carries) at NY Giants 10/24
Average gain – 5.3 [2]
TDs – 17 [1]
100-yard rushing games – 8

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 34      
Most receptions, game – 5 (for 53 yds.) vs. Dallas 10/17, (for 60 yds.) vs. Philadelphia 11/7
Yards – 328
Most yards, game - 60 (on 5 catches) vs. Philadelphia 11/7
Average gain – 9.6
TDs – 4

Attempts – 2
Completions – 1
Yards – 39
TDs – 1
INT – 0

All-purpose yards – 1872 [2]

TDs – 21 [2]
Points – 126 [2]

Postseason: 1 G (NFL Championship at Green Bay)
Rushing attempts – 12
Rushing yards – 50
Average gain rushing – 4.2
Rushing TDs – 0

Pass receptions – 3
Yards – 44
Average gain – 14.7
TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL MVP: AP, UPI, NEA, Sporting News
1st team All-NFL: AP, NEA, UPI, NY Daily News
1st team All-Eastern Conference: Sporting News
Pro Bowl

Browns went 11-3 to finish first in the NFL Eastern Conference while leading the league in rushing yards (2331). Lost NFL Championship to Green Bay Packers (23-12).

The 1965 season was Brown’s last as he announced his retirement the following summer. Brown won eight NFL rushing titles in nine years and set numerous records as well as a new standard for running backs to be measured against, retiring as the all-time leader in rushing (12,312 yards) and touchdowns (126). Brown averaged 5.2 yards per carry and 104.3 yards per game over the course of his career. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in all nine seasons, was a first-team All-Pro eight times, and received MVP recognition on four occasions. Brown’s #32 was retired by the Browns and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1971.


MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself).