February 26, 2015

Highlighted Year: Jim Brown, 1959

Fullback, Cleveland Browns

Age: 23
3rd 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. 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. Brown followed that up in 1958 by setting a new single-season rushing record with 1527 yards, again receiving MVP, first-team All-NFL, and Pro Bowl honors.

1959 Season Summary
Appeared in all 12 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 290 [1]
Most attempts, game – 37 (for 147 yds.) at Chi. Cardinals 10/4
Yards – 1329 [1]
Most yards, game – 178 yards (on 32 carries) at Baltimore 11/1
Average gain – 4.6 [11]
TDs – 14 [1]
100-yard rushing games – 8

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 24      
Yards – 190
Average gain – 7.9
TDs – 0

Kickoff Returns
Returns – 4
Yards – 88
Average per return – 22.0
TDs – 0
Longest return – 29 yards

All-Purpose yards – 1607 [1]

TDs – 14 [1, tied with Raymond Berry]
Points – 84 [3, tied with Raymond Berry & Bobby Joe Conrad]

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

Browns went 7-5 to tie for second place with the Eagles in the NFL Eastern Conference while leading the league in rushing yards (2149).

Brown’s rushing title in 1959 was the third of eight in nine seasons, which included 1960 and ‘61. Along the way he set numerous records as well as a new standard for running backs to be measured against. Following a relatively down year in 1962, Brown broke his own single-season rushing record in 1963 and, after compiling two more league-topping performances in 1964 and ’65, retired as the NFL’s 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.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970