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Cleveland Browns 2021 Schedule Breakdown
For the first time, the NFL will have a 17-game regular season. That means the Browns will have 17 games to go and win in an effort to make the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time since they went in five straight seasons between 1985 and 1989.
Here is a look at Cleveland’s 2021 schedule, along with some of the key games and other observations.
Week 1: Sep. 12 at Kansas City Chiefs - 4:25 PM (CBS)
Week 2: Sep. 19 vs. Houston Texans - 1:00 PM (CBS)
Week 3: Sep. 26 vs. Chicago Bears - 1:00 PM (FOX)
Week 4: Oct. 3 at Minnesota Vikings - 1:00 PM (CBS)
Week 5: Oct. 10 at Los Angeles Chargers - 4:05 PM (CBS)
Week 6: Oct. 17 vs. Arizona Cardinals - 4:05 PM (FOX)
Week 7: Oct. 21 vs. Denver Broncos (TNF) - 8:20 PM (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)
Week 8: Oct. 31 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers - 1:00 PM (CBS)
Week 9: Nov. 7 at Cincinnati Bengals - 1:00 PM (CBS)
Week 10: Nov. 14 at New England Patriots - 1:00 PM (CBS)
Week 11: Nov. 21 vs. Detroit Lions - 1:00 PM (FOX)
Week 12: Nov. 28 at Baltimore Ravens (SNF) - 8:20 PM (NBC)
Week 13: BYE
Week 14: Dec. 12 vs. Baltimore Ravens - 1:00 PM (CBS)
Week 15: Dec. 18 or 19 vs. Las Vegas Raiders - TBD
Week 16: Dec. 25 at Green Bay Packers (SAT) - 4:30 PM (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)
Week 17: Jan. 3 at Pittsburgh Steelers (MNF) - 8:15 PM (ESPN)
Week 18: Jan. 9 vs. Cincinnati Bengals - 1:00 PM (CBS)
Week 1 at Kansas City - After their season ended in a loss to Kansas City in the AFC Divisional Round, the Browns will try to get revenge in their first game of the season. Cleveland will go up against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium before matching up against six teams who finished .500 or worse in 2020
Week 8 vs. Pittsburgh - After six games against average teams and a Thursday night battle the week prior, the Browns will host the Steelers, their first AFC North opponent of the season. They saw Pittsburgh three times last season and won twice, including a 48-37 victory in the Wild Card round.
Weeks 12 and 14 vs. Baltimore - In what might be the biggest oddity of Cleveland’s schedule, the Browns visit the Ravens Week 12 for Sunday Night Football before going on their bye week. However, they’ll immediately host Baltimore coming out of the bye, the first time since 1957 Cleveland faced the same opponent in back-to-back weeks during the regular season. Baltimore beat them in both meetings last season.
Week 16 at Green Bay - Christmas day, the Browns will be at frosty Lambeau Field taking on the Packers (who may or may not have Aaron Rodgers). It’s the first time Cleveland has played on Christmas day in franchise history, doing so against easily the toughest NFC opponent they’ll face all season.
Week 18 vs. Cincinnati - The Browns and the rest of the league will play 17 games, meaning that the regular season will extend to the 18th week. For their final game of the season, Cleveland will play their in-state rivals in Cincinnati in a game that may be determining a division title or postseason appearance for the Browns.
Primetime games - As one of the better teams in football now, so comes the spoils of being on national TV. The Browns will have at least four primetime games this year; Thursday night against Denver, Sunday night at Baltimore, Christmas Day at Green Bay, and Monday night at Pittsburgh.
Strength of schedule - As mentioned earlier, the second half of the season gets tougher, particularly Week 12. As a whole, Cleveland has the ninth-toughest schedule in the NFL this season according to opponents’ combined records (.518 winning percentage). For context, the Browns entered 2020 with the fourth-easiest schedule (.461 winning percentage for opponents).
Week 1 woes - The Browns face maybe the best team in football right away in the Chiefs, which might continue the troubles they have to start a season. Since re-entering the league in 1999, Cleveland is an incredible 1-20-1 in Week 1, failing to win their opening game since 2004.
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