It didn’t matter how hard or easy the Browns’ schedule was in 2019 — Cleveland stunk up the joint. Unable to control their emotions on or off the field, the team that so many expected to win the AFC North wound up with a grand total of six victories.
Heading into 2020 with the Freddie Kitchens experiment in the rear-view mirror, perhaps things are finally headed in the right direction.
The team has playmakers everywhere you look, and the Cleveland Browns’ strength of schedule ranks as the fourth-easiest in all of the NFL.
The difference is expectations aren’t set as high, but that could actually be a blessing in disguise.
How Difficult Will the Browns’ 2020 Schedule Be?
Cowboys, Steelers, and Ravens. That’s it. Those are the only three teams that have an easier schedule (on paper) than the Browns in 2020. Cleveland’s opponents combined for a 118-138 mark (.461) in 2019, and the Browns only leave the Eastern Time Zone twice (week 4 @ Dallas, Week 13 @ Tennessee).
The Browns play three of the four teams that won fewer than five games a season ago, including two games against the team that sported the worst record in the league.
They play eight games before the bye and eight games after the bye, with an even split of four home games/four road games lurking on each side of the halfway point.
The Bengals and the Redskins were the two worst teams in football last season, and the Browns get them both at home before October even arrives. The week 2 clash versus Cincy comes on Thursday night in the first of two prime time slots Cleveland is featured in. More on the “other one” later.
Baker Mayfield and co. take on the Raiders at home in week 8 — the first of three consecutive home games for Browns in the middle of their season. If you include their bye in week 9, Mayfield and his teammates don’t have to leave “The Land” from October 25th to November 29th.
Playing the Ravens and Steelers in weeks 14 and 17 could present some problems, but fortunately, the Browns have a couple of games at MetLife Stadium sandwiched in between. Spending the week in East Rutherford means not spending Christmas as home with their families, but getting to play the Giants and Jets in back-to-back games is well worth the sacrifice.
Browns’ Hardest Games in 2020
Week 1 @ Ravens
Week 4 @ Cowboys
Week 6 @ Steelers
Week 13 @ Titans
Week 14 VS. Ravens
It doesn’t get much more difficult than having to open the year in Baltimore, but keep in mind that Cleveland found a way to knock off the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in 2019. If they can repeat history, there’s a decent chance Kevin Stefanski will show up in Dallas on October 4th sitting pretty at 3-0.
Of course, beating the Cowboys at Jerry’s World is a tall order, as is hoping to defeat the Steelers at Heinz Field in week 6.
Heading to Nashville to battle the Titans could very well trip the Browns up, and Cleveland will almost certainly be a substantial underdog in week 14’s Monday Night Football game against the Ravens.
While it’s a bit early to start targeting which games on the Browns schedule are worth placing bets on, these Odell Beckham Jr. props are waiting for your action with open arms.
Strapped with the fourth-easiest schedule according to last year’s winning percentages, I think Cleveland has it even easier than that.
Taking everything into account, I’d stick my neck out and say the Browns’ strength of schedule is as easy as, if not the easiest of, any team in the league.
If you’re on board with Baker and OBJ taking things seriously in 2020, head to the top NFL sportsbooks now. There are all sorts of ways to put your money where your mouth is.
As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.
Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.