The Browns had won the Eastern Conference with a record of 9–2–1 while the Lions had to play a playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers in the previous week.
While the Lions were without injured starting quarterback Bobby Layne, backup QB Tobin Rote filled in admirably, throwing four touchdown passes, completing 12 of 19 passes for 280 yards, and running in for another touchdown. O'Connell and Plum, on the other hand hit on a combined total of 9 of 22 passes for 112 yards. Taking full advantage of a pass interception and a fumble, Detroit ran up a 17-0 lead in the first quarter. Jim Brown gave the Cleveland rooters some hope with a 30-yard touchdown swing at the start of the second period. Then, things went from bad to worse for the Browns, hampered by injuries to quarterbacks Tommy O'Connell and Milt Plum. The Lions romped for 14 points in each of the last three quarters.
1 – From 1966 to 1969, the first four Super Bowls were "World Championship" games played between two independent professional football leagues, AFL and NFL, and when the league merged in 1970 the Super Bowl became the NFL Championship Game. 2 – Dates in the list denote the season, not the calendar year in which the championship game was played. For instance, Super Bowl XLI was played in 2007, but was the championship for the 2006 season.