The NFL released the opponents for each team in the league on Wednesday. The league is trying to find different ways to implement the 17th game that was a part of the most recent collective bargaining agreement this past year. You can find out the formula for NFL scheduling here. After a 12-6 season playing against a rather easy schedule, let’s find out who the Browns will be playing this year at First Energy Stadium and on the road.
Browns Schedule of 2021 Opponents
Home: Ravens, Steelers, Bengals, Raiders, Broncos, Lions, Bears, Texans
Away: Ravens, Steelers, Bengals, Chiefs, Chargers, Packers, Vikings, Patriots
Based on 2020 records, the Browns will have the ninth-toughest schedule in the NFL, based on a 17-game season, in 2021. It’s unclear if AFC teams or NFC teams will host the additional 17th game on the schedule. The additional game will be a matchup from the other conference, and conferences will alternate hosting the additional game every year.
While the home games for the Browns should be easily winnable, the away games should force the Browns to play their best football. With away games at the Kansas City Chiefs, Green bay Packers, and a tricky match-up in New England, the Browns will certainly be tested by the time the playoffs come around in late December and early January.
In the 2021 playoffs, the Browns pushed a Chiefs team to the brink before former Michigan quarterback Chad Henne made the play of his life. However, after the best season since 1994 for the Browns, there will be a lot of teams around the league looking to pick off the new and exciting Browns.
Also something to note is that the Browns have had an easy schedule the past couple of years. In 2019, their strength of schedule was 23rd in the NFL, with an opponents’ combined win percentage at .484. Then this past year, the Browns had the 29th-toughest schedule in the NFL, with an opponents combined winning percentage of .461. Oddly enough in 2020, all four teams from the AFC North, had the 27th, 29th, 31st, and 32nd hardest schedule in the NFL. It’s safe to say the AFC North had an easy pass this year, and that probably contributed to the fact that three teams from the division made the postseason.
The Browns will have to face a must tougher schedule than last season, where they feasted on the AFC South and NFC East.
Browns Schedule Features Game: Kansas City Chiefs
In a rematch of the 2021 Divisional Round matchup between the Browns and Chiefs, the Browns will again have to travel to Kansas City to try and slow down the high-paced Chiefs offense. With an improved defense, and most of all, an improved secondary, there is no reason to believe that this game won’t be a closely-fought battle, just like it was in the 2021 Divisional Round.