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Quick thoughts on 2012 Browns schedule

The NFL released the 2012 schedule on Tuesday (in case you hadn’t heard) and, as always, the Browns have some interesting match-ups ahead of them this fall.

  • The team opens at home, naturally, against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 9.
  • Their lone scheduled primetime game comes in Week 4 when they travel to Baltimore for a Thursday night NFL Network appearance.
  • They face the Colts and (presumably) Andrew Luck in Week 7
  • They travel to Dallas in Week 11 – probably the sole appearance of the brown jerseys this season.
  • The bye comes in Week 10
  • Week 14 brings Kansas City to town with old friends Romeo Crennel, Brian Daboll and Peyton Hillis.
  • The Browns host the Redskins and (presumably) Robert Griffin III in Week 15.
  • They travel to Denver in Week 16 to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
  • For the third season in a row, the Browns close the season with Pittsburgh.

Oddly enough, after making a big deal last year about back loading the schedule with division games, the Browns only have two division contests after the bye week – both against the Steelers.

The Browns will face teams that had a combined 135-121 record (.527) last season, giving them the third-toughest schedule in the league and the hardest for a non-playoff team.

Cleveland will face just four teams who had losing records last season – Kansas City, Buffalo, Washington and Indianapolis.

“Although we have known our opponents and where we are going to play since the end of last season, there is always a certain amount of anticipation as to how everything will fall into place,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said in a release. “I think that opening the year at home against the Eagles will be great for our players and our fans. It will be exciting to play a team, an organization and a coach for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect. It will be a good test for our team. Ending the year in two of the tougher venues in the NFL also will present a challenge. I am looking forward to kicking off the 2012 season.”

Which just makes next week’s NFL Draft that much more important.

(Photo by Cleveland Browns.com)

Save the Date

With the NFL releasing the 2010 schedule last night, there are several dates Browns fans should circle on the calendar.

For the first time since they returned in 1999, the Browns will open on the road, taking on Tampa Bay. That’s probably a good thing as the Browns are 1-10 in season openers since 1999.

Also the Browns are not scheduled for Monday night, Sunday night or Thursday night. Not sure how that happened since I’m pretty sure the NFL bylaws require them to play Pittsburgh at home on Thursday night.

Speaking of Pittsburgh, the Browns travel there in Week 6 and host the Steelers in the season finale. In fact, the last three games are all division games, with the Browns traveling to Cincinnati in Week 15 before closing the season at home vs. Baltimore and then Pittsburgh.

The other big dates are the Jets at home on Nov. 14, which should be the most intense regular-season game since Marty returned with KC – still the most physical game I’ve seen the Browns take part in.

Carolina visits Nov. 28 in the Jake Delhomme revenge game.

The Browns’ strength of schedule is 10th. And for some reason they face a brutal stretch in late November with four road games over a five-week span.

I’m ready for some football.

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