Since much of the focus in Northeast Ohio is currently honed in on the Cleveland Cavaliers, it’d be easy to forget tonight being the official release of the 2015 NFL schedule. Fans already knew who the Cleveland Browns would play, but now they can find out when.
Would the Browns find themselves the benefactors of a soft schedule? Would they face a slew of juggernauts early on, potentially putting their season in jeopardy right from the get-go? Would Cleveland – dare I say it – get a primetime game?
Well, all of these questions and more have officially been answered. Here’s a look at how the Browns’ 2015 season plays out.
Browns vs. Jets
Titans vs. Browns
Raiders vs. Browns
Browns vs. Chargers
Browns vs. Ravens
Broncos vs. Browns
Browns vs. Rams
Cardinals vs. Browns
Browns vs. Bengals (Thursday)
Browns vs. Steelers
Ravens vs. Browns (Monday)
Bengals vs. Browns
49ers vs. Browns
Browns vs. Seahawks
Browns vs. Chiefs
Steelers vs. Browns
First of all, believe it: the Browns find themselves in a Monday night game this season. Can I explain it? Of course not. But, this season will feature the words “Browns” and “prime” twice, so let’s just soak that in for a minute.
Cleveland definitely has itself what appears to be a favorable start to the year, facing three teams with a combined nine wins in 2014. However, the Browns sure better take advantage of these easy opening weeks, because things get brutal soon after.
Taking on the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals in the span of three weeks won’t be a fun time, but the biggest red flag from Cleveland’s schedule is the fact they go through a divisional gauntlet in the following four weeks. Matchups with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravers are bookended by two bouts with the Cincinnati Bengals. If you’re looking for the make-or-break portion of the Browns’ schedule, it shouldn’t take too long to find.
Expectations for Cleveland aren’t exactly what you’d call high at the moment, and with about four to five 2015 matchups you could loosely label as favorable, things don’t look much brighter after the schedule release. The goal for the team now is to do everything they can to prepare themselves for plenty of challenges this season.
For the fans, it’s all about counting down the days to the season opener against the New York Jets and a quarterback matchup between Josh McCown and Geno Smith, which is likely to be so ugly it should come with a Surgeon General’s warning.