March 7, 2017

Highlighted Year: Lou Groza, 1946

Tackle/Placekicker, Cleveland Browns

Age: 22
1st season in pro football
College: Ohio State
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 215

Groza saw little college action before going into the military during World War II, but Paul Brown signed him for the Browns of the new AAFC for 1946. In his first season, he was used primarily as a placekicker who backed up on the offensive line.
1946 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Field goals – 13 [1]
Most field goals, game – 3 vs. Miami 9/6
Field goal attempts – 29 [1]
Field goal percentage – 44.8
PATs – 45 [1]
PAT attempts – 47 [1]
Longest field goal – 51 yards vs. Chicago 11/17

Field Goals – 13
PATs – 45
Points – 84 [1]

Postseason: 1 G (AAFC Championship vs. New York)
Field goals – 0
Field goal attempts – 3
PATs – 2
PAT attempts – 2

Punts – 2
Yards – 80
Average – 40.0

Awards & Honors:
2nd team All-AAFC: UPI

Browns went 12-2 to finish first in the AAFC Western Divisionwhile leading the league in total yards (4244), touchdowns (55), and scoring (423 points). Won AAFC Championship over New York Yankees (14-9).

Groza became a starting tackle during the1947 season and excelled there, if not as visibly as he did with his kicking. With Cleveland joining the NFL in 1950, he led the league in field goals (13) and field goal percentage (68.4), kicked the game-winning field goal in the NFL title game, and was named to the Pro Bowl for the first of six straight seasons. He again led the league in field goals in 1952 (19) and ’53 (23) and was successful on 88.5 % of his attempts in the latter year. Groza receivedleague MVP recognition from TheSporting News in 1954when he led the NFL with16 field goals out of 24 attempts for a league-leading 66.7 percentage and along with 37 extra points ranked third in scoring  with 85 points. The best placekicker of his era, “The Toe” also continued to be an outstanding tackle. He was again a consensus first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection in 1955, led the NFL in field goals in 1957 (15) and was named to the Pro Bowl in ’57, ’58, and ’59 for a total of 9 in all. 1959 marked his last season as a tackle and he retired for a year in 1960 due to a back injury. He returned as strictly a placekicking specialist in 1961 and led the league in field goal pct. that year (69.6) and again in 1963 (65.2). He finally retired for good following the 1967 season at age 43 and after a total of 21 years (four in the AAFC, 17 in the NFL). At the time, he was the NFL career leader in games played (216), scoring (1349 points), field goals (234), and extra points (641). Adding in his AAFC totals, he played in 268 games, scored 1608 points, and kicked 264 field goals and 810 extra points. The Browns retired his #76 (which he wore for the last 15 years of his long career) and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1974.


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