Top 10 NFL Players of the 50s

The Top Ten
1 Raymond Berry

here's a cinderella story, a man with poor eyesight and a lack of athleticism made the Colts in 1955 through hard work and practice to become the main player of this decade. His pairing with Johnny Unitas made them the best quarterback-wide receiving duo of this decade. His breakthrough performance came in the 1958 NFL Championship game as he caught 12 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown as the Colts won their first world championship and Baltimore's first pro sports world championship.
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2 Otto Graham Otto Everett Graham Jr. was an American football quarterback who played for the Cleveland Browns in the All-America Football Conference and National Football League.

Otto's 1950 NFL debut was big, the Philadelphia Eagles was expecting a cakewalk win over the Browns. Instead Otto delivered with a 21-for-38 346 yard performance and a 35-10 win over the Eagles setting the stage for the Browns to rule the NFL throughout the 50s. Among the highlights we're the 1950 NFL Championship, and a revenge game in the 1954 NFL Championship in which his Browns beat the Lions 56-10 after what the Lions did to them in the previous 2 NFL Championship Games. Otto, one of the all-time greats.
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3 Chuck Bednarik

He was the greatest Philadelphia Eagles ever according to the NFL Network Top 10. Concrete Charlie was tough AND an American hero serving for our country in World War II. He's a no nonsense guy who once confronted Chuck Noll before his coaching days in Pittsburgh. He intercepted 20 passes and played through the Eagles lean years in the 1950s and for his great efforts earn him a berth in the NFL 1950s All-Decade Team. Bednarik, a 1966 Pro Football Hall of Famer.
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4 Tom Fears

He turned pro in 1948, and within two years had emerged as one of the best rising stars in the game, but that set the stage for 1950, the year that the Rams light up the scoreboard in record numbers, previously not seen in professional football and Fears was a big part of it when he caught 84 passes (a then NFL record) including 18 in a game against the Green Bay Packers on November 12. He also helped the team reached the NFL Title game after catching two touchdowns in a Western Conference tie breaker against the Bears.
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5 Elroy ''Crazylegs'' Hirsch

He was the Hollywood like Marque player of the Modern era. He was charming and most of all he was great. So great that Hollywood came calling and in 1953 HE starred in the film titled simply Crazylegs. Even in retirement, he still shined in the Movies and on TV, including a guest appearance in an 1965 episode of The Munsters. Unlike nearly all players, he retired at the top of his game in 1958 and left with 343 receptions for 6,299 yards and 53 touchdowns. He played on that fabled 1951 Rams Championship team.
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6 Gino Marchetti

He was the heart and soul of the Baltimore Colts. His defense was also the heart and soul of a city that welcomed its team in 1953, and within 5 years we're challenging for a NFL Championship. At that title game, he made a critical tackle on New York's Frank Gifford on third down late in the game and suffered a fractured ankle, but as team captain he stayed and that epic photo of him rooting on his team to win the Championship is one of the Iconic photos in NFL history.
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7 Ernie Stautner
8 Sam Huff Robert Lee "Sam" Huff is a former professional American football linebacker in the National Football League for the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins.
9 Norm Van Brocklin
10 Joe Schmidt
The Contenders
11 Bobby Layne

Bobby wasn't the perfect NFL passer for this decade, but he was the perfect big time winner for the Detroit Lions. The 1953 NFL Championship Game was one of many great clutch games he had in his pro career. His Lions trailing by 6 drove the ball 80 yards to set up a game winning touchdown pass from Layne to Jim Doran from 33 yards out with 2 minutes left to play to secure The Lions as back to back champions. He's a major member of the 1950s NFL ALL-Decade Team. Peter Bonventre once wrote "The Detroit Lions of the Layne era were the best team in football on Sunday afternoon and the best party in town Sunday Night."
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12 Lou Groza

Browns fans may remember him as the man who kicked the game winning field goal in the 1950 NFL Championship Game. But Browns fans will also remember him as a gutty place kicker who for good or bad he give it his best. He competed in the 1952 NFL Championship despite having cracked ribs and it showed by missing 3 field goals. The next year, now healthy he kicked a NFL record of 23 field goals in a season and a 88.5 percent rate, a record that stood for 28 years. Groza's great 1954 season was so amazing that The Sporting News named him the NFL Most Valuable Player. An original GREAT Brown.
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13 Yale Lary
14 Lenny Moore
15 Frank Gifford
16 Ollie Matson
17 Johnny Unitas John Constantine Unitas, nicknamed "Johnny U", or "The Golden Arm", was an American professional football player from the 1950s through the 1970s.
18 Hugh McElhenny
19 Joe Perry
20 Jim Parker
21 Emlen Tunnell
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