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In Cleveland, hope dies last

Browns to return to primetime in 2018 – well, sort of

Browns preseason

The Cleveland Browns, fresh off just the second 0-16 season in NFL history, will make a return to the primetime schedule in 2018.

Well, primetime in the preseason, as the Browns will host the Philadelphia Eagles on Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. in a game televised nationally by Fox.

The news came out this afternoon as the NFL released the full schedule for the preseason. In addition to the game against the Eagles, the Browns will:

  • travel to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Giants the week of Aug. 9-13;
  • host the Buffalo Bills at FirstEnergy Stadium the week of Aug. 16-20; and,
  • travel to Ford Field to take on the Detroit Lions on Aug. 30 or Aug. 31.

The actual dates and times of the games will be revealed at a later date.

The games against the Giants, Bills and Lions will be televised locally and the Browns announced that Jay Crawford and former Cleveland quarterback Tim Couch will be in the broadcast booth for the games.

The preseason slate presents some interesting match ups, starting with the nationally televised game against the Eagles. If he is recovered from his torn ACL, which is still a big question, Browns fans will get to see Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz – the player that launched a thousand ships in the Analytics Wars – in person.

The game against the Giants carries some intrigue as New York holds the No. 2 overall selection in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft – one slot behind the Browns. There could be some gamesmanship between the two teams in the coming weeks over the draftable quarterbacks, and that game could offer the initial glimpse of the first two quarterbacks off the board.

Finally, the Bills game will give quarterback Tyrod Taylor the opportunity to show his former team just what they will be missing after trading him to the Browns for a third-round pick in this year’s draft.

If there was any doubt that the preseason holds little value in determining a team’s future success, Browns fans just need to look to last summer, when the Browns were a perfect 4-0 in games that did not matter, only to fall flat when they did.

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