Cleveland Browns schedule analysis

April, 18, 2013
4/18/13
8:15
PM ET
NFC schedule analysis: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Breakdown: The Cleveland Browns play two of their first three games on the road, which isn't ideal for a team learning a new offense and defense under first-year head coach Rob Chudzinski. After opening against the Miami Dolphins at home, the Browns play at Baltimore and at Minnesota, two playoff teams from a season ago. The Browns were 1-7 on the road last season.

Cleveland's most favorable part of the schedule comes after those road games, when the Browns play three straight at home against Cincinnati, Buffalo and Detroit. While the Bengals have gone to the playoffs for the past two seasons, the Bills and Lions were last-place teams from a season ago.

The Browns only get one national TV game, a Thursday night game on Oct. 3 against the Buffalo Bills. This was expected for a franchise that has had four different head coaches and a 23-57 record since 2008.

Complaint department: For the second straight season, the Browns get a brutal finish to the regular season. Cleveland plays three of its final four games on the road. This stretch features games at the Patriots, Jets and Steelers.

In fact, the Browns have just four home games in the final 11 weeks of the regular season. Last season, Cleveland was forced to end the season with road games at Denver and Pittsburgh.

Home sweet home?: The Browns open at home against the Dolphins, but that has never been a great kickoff to the season. Since rejoining the NFL, the Browns have opened the season at home in 14 of 15 seasons. Their record in those home season openers: 1-13. Their lone victory was over the Ravens in 2004. In last season's opener, the Browns lost to the eventual last-place Philadelphia Eagles 17-16. Perhaps renaming the home field FirstEnergy Stadium will cause a change of fortune.

Browns Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 8, Miami, 1 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15, at Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 22, at Minnesota, 1 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 29, Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Week 5: Thursday, Oct. 3, Buffalo, 8:25 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 13, Detroit, 1 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 20, at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 27, at Kansas City, 1 p.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 3, Baltimore, 4:25 p.m.
Week 10: BYE
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 17, at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 24, Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 1, Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 8, at New England, 1 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 15, Chicago, 1 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 22, at NY Jets, 1 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 29, at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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