(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Browns will open the 2018 season at FirstEnergy Stadium against the rival Steelers for a second consecutive year to kick off their 70th year of football in Cleveland.
The NFL announced its complete schedule Thursday. The Browns also finalized dates and times on their preseason schedule, which includes a nationally televised home matchup against the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Thursday, Aug. 9 - at New York Giants - 7 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 17 - Buffalo Bills – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 23 - Philadelphia Eagles - 8 p.m. (FOX)
Thursday, Aug. 30 - at Detroit Lions - 7 p.m.
Week 1: Sept. 9 - Pittsburgh Steelers - 1 p.m./CBS
Week 2: Sept. 16 - at New Orleans Saints - 1 p.m./FOX
Week 3: Sept. 20 (Thu) - New York Jets – 8:20 p.m./NFLN
Week 4: Sept. 30 - at Oakland Raiders – 4:05 p.m./FOX
Week 5: Oct. 7 - Baltimore Ravens - 1 p.m./CBS
Week 6: Oct. 14 - L.A. Chargers - 1 p.m./CBS
Week 7: Oct. 21 - at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 1 p.m./FOX
Week 8: Oct. 28 - at Pittsburgh Steelers - 1 p.m./CBS
Week 9: Nov. 4 - Kansas City Chiefs - 1p.m./ CBS
Week 10: Nov. 11 - Atlanta Falcons - 1 p.m./FOX
Week 11: Nov. 18 - BYE
Week 12: Nov. 25 - at Cincinnati Bengals - 1 p.m./CBS
Week 13: Dec. 2 - at Houston Texans - 1 p.m./CBS
Week 14: Dec. 9 - Carolina Panthers - 1 p.m./FOX
Week 15: Dec. 15 (Sat) - at Denver Broncos - TBD/NFLN
Week 16: Dec. 23 - Cincinnati Bengals - 1 p.m./CBS
Week 17: Dec. 30 - at Baltimore Ravens - 1 p.m./CBS
“I’m always excited about the release of our schedule,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “The release of your schedule is one of the final pieces to your planning for the season. I like our schedule. It’s balanced, it’s tough but that’s exactly what we expected. We play some really good quarterbacks to start the season and two playoff teams out the gate.”
Cleveland Browns 2018 season tickets are now available. Fans can purchase season tickets by calling (440) 824-3434 or toll free at (888) 891-1999 or online at clevelandbrowns.com/tickets. Fans can also register to attend a Select-A-Seat event at FirstEnergy Stadium on April 28 by clicking here. Single-game tickets will be available this summer, but fans can sign up for pre-sale notification by clicking here.
This year’s schedule features cross-division games against teams from the AFC West and NFC South, as Cleveland hosts the Chiefs, Chargers, Falcons and Panthers while traveling to face the Raiders, Broncos, Saints and Buccaneers. Cleveland’s Week 15 matchup at Denver, which is slated for Sat., Dec. 15, and will air nationally on NFL Network, is the only game without a set kickoff time.
The Browns will open their schedule against the Steelers for the second consecutive year and eighth time in franchise history. The Browns have won two of their past four home openers and are 27-38 all-time in season openers. The rivals will wrap up their 2018 series within the first half of the season, as Cleveland’s trip to Pittsburgh is set for Week 8 (Oct. 28).
“We like to open at home in front of our great fans and this will be the second season in a row we do it against the Steelers,” Jackson said. “We start with the best in our division.”
Cleveland has its first of four NFC South matchups Week 2 in New Orleans. The Browns will hit the road Week 7 to face Tampa Bay before hosting the Falcons in Week 10 and the Panthers in Week 14. All four of the games are slated to air on FOX.
The Saints, Panthers and Falcons are all coming off 2017 playoff appearances. It plays a big part in Cleveland’s schedule ranking as the league’s fifth-toughest based on how its opponents finished last season.
The Browns return to primetime for a Thursday Night Football matchup with the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium. The game, which will air on NFL Network, will mark Cleveland’s first Thursday night home game since 2013, when it downed Buffalo, 37-24. The Browns are 22-32 all-time in primetime games, including a 14-16 mark at home. They’re 3-2 at home on Thursday nights.
“We have a Thursday night early in the season and then our bye week in Week 11. That gives us two extended periods at different points in the season for our players to get some rest and recovery,” Jackson said. “That’s a benefit because it is a long season.”
The Jets and Texans, whom Cleveland faces in Houston in Week 13, are the only two opponents unique to the Browns when compared to the rest of the AFC North.
After opening with the Steelers, Cleveland resumes its division slate Week 5 against the Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns will close the season in Baltimore, marking the third such time since 1999 and first since 2014 they end the year against the Ravens. Both of Cleveland’s games against the Bengals will take place during the second half of the season, as the Browns, following their Week 11 bye, will travel to Cincinnati in Week 12 and host the Bengals for their final home game of the season Week 16.
The Browns will play what could be their final game at Oakland Alameda Coliseum when they travel to face the Raiders in Week 4. Cleveland will face the Chargers for the fourth consecutive season when they match up Week 6 at FirstEnergy Stadium and host the Chiefs in Week 9.
“It’s great that we know the order of our opponents,” Jackson said. “We now have a clearer picture of the opponent we will be focusing on first and that’s something you can point to throughout the entire offseason.”
NOTES ON BROWNS’ 2018 OPPONENTS
vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Sept. 9 at Pittsburgh Steelers, Oct. 28
· The Steelers hold a 72-58 advantage in the all-time regular season series.
· This will mark the second consecutive season and eighth time overall that Cleveland has opened a season against Pittsburgh.
· The Browns are 27-38 all-time in season openers.
· Offensive coordinator Todd Haley spent six seasons (2012-17) as the Steelers offensive coordinator.
· Special teams coordinator Amos Jones spent six seasons (2007-12) as an assistant coach with the Steelers.
· Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Keith Butler coached the Browns linebackers from 1999-2002.
· Pittsburgh assistant head coach John Mitchell spent three seasons (1991-93) in Cleveland coaching the defensive line.
· Pittsburgh DB Joe Haden was a first-round pick by the Browns in 2010 and spent seven seasons (2010-16) in Cleveland.
· OL Chris Hubbard spent the past five seasons (2013-17) with the Steelers.
· Pittsburgh LB L.J. Fort was originally signed by the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2012.
at New Orleans Saints, Sept. 16
· The Browns hold a 13-4 advantage in the all-time series, including an 8-2 mark in New Orleans.
· Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was the Saints defensive coordinator from 2009-11.
· New Orleans secondary coach Aaron Glenn spent two seasons (2014-15) with Cleveland in the same capacity.
· Strength and conditioning assistant Evan Marcus was an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Saints from 2000-02.
· Linebackers coach Blake Williams three seasons (2009-11) on the Saints’ coaching staff.
· DB Corey White was originally a fifth-round pick by New Orleans in 2012.
· Saints LB Demario Davis spent 2016 with the Browns.
· New Orleans LB Craig Robertson was originally signed by the Browns as undrafted free agent in 2011 and spent five seasons (2011-15) with the club.
· New Orleans WR Willie Snead was originally signed by the Browns as undrafted free agent in 2014.
vs. New York Jets, Sept. 20
· The all-time series is even at 12-12, including a 4-4 record in Cleveland.
· The teams have faced off each of the past three seasons with the Jets winning all three contests.
· The Browns are 22-32 all-time in prime time games, including a 14-16 mark at home.
· The Browns are 3-2 at home on Thursday night games, including a 37-24 victory against Buffalo the last time the team hosted a Thursday night game on Oct. 2013.
· Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles spent four seasons (2001-04) coaching the Browns secondary.
· Offensive coordinator Todd Haley spent five seasons (1995-2000) with the Jets
· Offensive line coach Bob Wylie spent two seasons (1990-91) as the Jets tight ends coach.
· Defensive line coach Clyde Simmons began his coaching career as an intern with the Jets in 2010.
· Jets assistant head coach/inside linebackers coach Mike Caldwell played three seasons (1993-95) in Cleveland after joining the team as a third-round pick in 1993.
· Jets QB Josh McCown was with the Browns from 2015-16. He set the Browns single-game passing record with 457 passing yards on Oct. 11, 2015.
· Jets DB Buster Skrine was a fifth-round pick by the Browns in 2011 and spent four years (2011-14) with the club.
· DL Xavier Cooper was a third-round pick by the Browns in 2015.
· RB Isaiah Crowell was originally signed by Cleveland as an undrafted free agent in 2014 and spent four years (2014-17) with the club.
· WR Terrelle Pryor played with the Browns from 2015-16.
at Oakland Raiders, Sept. 30
· The Raiders lead the all-time series 12-10.
· Head Coach Hue Jackson spent two seasons (2010-11) with the Raiders and served as head coach in 2011.
· Raiders senior defensive assistant Jim O’Neil was the Browns defensive coordinator from 2014-15.
· Wide receivers coach Adam Henry spent five seasons (2009-11) as an assistant coach with the Raiders.
· Assistant offensive line coach Mark Hutson spent three seasons (2012-14) as the Raiders tight ends coach.
· Defensive quality control coach Eric Sanders spent five seasons (2010-14) as an assistant coach with the Raiders.
· Senior offensive assistant Al Saunders spent three seasons (2012-14) on the Raiders’ coaching staff.
· Offensive line coach Bob Wylie spent 2011 in the same role with the Raiders.
· DB T.J. Carrie was a seventh-round pick by Oakland in 2014 and spent the past four seasons with the Raiders.
· QB Josh Johnson played for the Browns in 2012.
vs. Baltimore Ravens, Oct. 7 at Baltimore Ravens, Dec. 30
· The Ravens lead the all-time series, 29-9.
· The Browns and Ravens are 1-1 in regular season finales. The teams last played in a finale in 2014.
· Baltimore General Manager & Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome was selected by the Browns with the 23rd overall pick of the 1978 NFL Draft and was a Hall of Fame inductee in 1999 after playing with the team from 1978-90. After his playing career, Newsome got his start in the front office with the Browns’ pro personnel department from 1991-95.
· Head Coach Hue Jackson served as Baltimore quarterbacks coach from 2008-09.
· Ravens senior personnel assistant George Kokinis began his NFL career working in the Browns scouting department (1991-95) after serving an internship with the team’s operations department. He also served as general manager for part of the 2009 season.
· Baltimore associate head coach/special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg coached the Browns’ special teams from 2001-06.
· Ravens defensive line coach Joe Cullen held the same role with the Browns in 2013.
· Ravens secondary coach Chris Hewitt served as an intern with the Browns in 2001 through the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship Program.
· Senior offensive assistant Al Saunders spent two seasons (2009-10) on the Ravens’ coaching staff.
· QB Tyrod Taylor was a sixth-round pick by the Ravens in 2011 and spent four seasons (2011-14) in Baltimore.
· Ravens QB Robert Griffin III spent 2016 with the Browns.
· DL Jamie Meder was originally signed by Baltimore as an undrafted free agent in 2014 and spent time on the club’s practice squad.
· DL Trevon Coley was originally signed by Baltimore as an undrafted free agent in 2016.
· Ravens WR Vince Mayle was a fourth-round pick by the Browns in 2015.
· Baltimore DB Robert Nelson was originally signed by the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2014.
vs. Los Angeles Chargers, Oct. 14
· The Chargers hold a 16-9-1 advantage in the all-time series.
· Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn spent two seasons (2007-08) as the Browns running backs coach.
· Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt (1999), running back coach Alfredo Roberts (2007-08), tight ends coach Rip Scherer (2005-08), quarterbacks coach Shane Steichen (2013) and offensive quality control coach Dan Shamash (2009-10) all spent time on the Browns coaching staff.
· Senior offensive assistant Al Saunders spent six seasons (1983-88) with San Diego, including serving as head coach from 1986-88.
· Director of strength and conditioning Larry Jackson was assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Chargers in 2017.
· Chargers WR Travis Benjamin was a fourth-round pick by the Browns in 2012. He set multiple Browns punt return records before signing with San Diego in 2016.
· LB Hayes Pullard was a seventh-round pick by the Browns in 2015.
at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oct. 21
· The Browns own a 6-3 advantage in the all-time series, including a 3-2 mark in Tampa.
· Vice President Player Personnel Alonzo Highsmith was a running back for Tampa Bay from 1991-92.
· Tampa Bay offensive line coach George Warhop held the same position with the Browns from 2009-13.
· Offensive line coach Bob Wylie spent four seasons (1992-95) in the same role with the Buccaneers.
· FB Danny Vitale was originally a sixth-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2016.
vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Nov. 4
· The Chiefs lead the all-time series 12-1-2, but the Browns own an 8-3-1 advantage at home.
· General Manager John Dorsey held the same role with the Chiefs from 2013-16.
· Offensive coordinator Todd Haley was the Chiefs head coach from 2009-11.
· OL Mitchell Schwartz was a second-round pick by the Browns in 2012 and played four seasons in Cleveland (2012-15).
· OL Cameron Erving was a first-round pick by the Browns in 2015.
· P Britton Colquitt’s brother, Dustin, plays for the Chiefs.
· Senior offensive assistant Al Saunders spent 15 seasons (1989-98, 2001-05) as an assistant coach with the Chiefs.
· Offensive quality control/assistant wide receivers coach Bob Saunders four seasons (2002-05) as offensive quality control coach with the Chiefs.
· OL Donald Stephenson was originally a third-round pick by the Chiefs in 2012 and played four seasons (2012-15) in Kansas City.
· DB Terrance Mitchell spent the past two seasons (2016-17) with the Chiefs.
vs. Atlanta Falcons, Nov. 11
· The Browns own an 11-3 advantage in the all-time series, including a 5-2 mark in Cleveland.
· Head Coach Hue Jackson was the Falcons offensive coordinator in 2007.
· Strength and conditioning assistant Evan Marcus was the Falcons head strength and conditioning coach in 2007.
· Atlanta defensive passing game coordinator Jerome Henderson was the Browns secondary coach from 2009-11.
· Atlanta OL Alex Mack was a first-round pick by the Browns in 2009 and played seven seasons (2009-2015) seasons in Cleveland.
· Atlanta DB Leon McFadden was a third-round pick by the Browns in 2013.
· Falcons OL Austin Pasztor played for the Browns for two seasons (2015-16).
at Cincinnati, Nov. 25 and vs. Cincinnati, Dec. 23
· The Bengals lead the all-time series 50-39.
· Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown was the Browns’ first head coach and general manager. He coached the Browns from 1946-62. Brown helped Cleveland capture four AAFC championships (1946-49) and three NFL titles (1950, 1954-55). He registered a 111-44-5 record in the NFL with the Browns. He later founded the Cincinnati Bengals and became their first head coach and general manager. Brown coached the Bengals from 1968-75 and recorded a 55-56-1 record.
· Head Coach Hue Jackson spent seven seasons (2004-06 and 2012-15) coaching in Cincinnati during two stints. Most recently, he was the Bengals offensive coordinator from 2014-15. He helped the Bengals to two division titles and a trip to the postseason each of his last four years.
· Quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese spent 15 seasons (2003-17) with the Bengals.
· Tight ends coach Greg Seamon spent 13 seasons (2003-15) with the Bengals.
· Assistant special teams coach Sam Shade was a fourth-round pick by the Bengals in 1995.
· Defensive line coach Clyde Simmons played for the Bengals in 1998.
· Offensive line coach Bob Wylie spent two seasons (1997-98) as the Bengals tight ends coach.
· OL Kevin Zeitler was drafted by the Bengals in the first round (27th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft and spent five seasons (2012-16) in Cincinnati.
· DB Derron Smith was a sixth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2015.
· DL Chris Smith spent 2017 with the Bengals.
at Houston Texans, Dec. 2
· The Texans own a 6-3 advantage in the all-time series.
· Houston assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel spent four seasons (2005-08) as head coach of the Browns.
· Houston defensive line coach Anthony Weaver spent two seasons (2014-15) in the same capacity with the Browns.
· Houston special teams coordinator Brad Seely held the same role with the Browns from 2009-10.
· Texans assistant special teams coach Tracy Smith spent two seasons (2009-10) in the same role with the Browns.
· Texans QB Brandon Weeden was a first-round pick by the Browns in 2012.
· Texans CB Johnson Bademosi was originally signed by the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2012.
· Houston S Ibraheim Campbell was a fourth-round pick by Cleveland in 2015.
· Texans WR Sammie Coates spent 2017 with the Browns.
vs. Carolina Panthers, Dec. 9
· The Panthers lead the all-time series 4-1.
· Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner held the same role with the Browns in 2013.
· Panthers quarterbacks coach Scott Turner was the Browns wide receiver coach in 2013.
· Panthers DB Mike Adams played for the Browns from 2007-11.
· Carolina RB Fozzie Whittaker spent part of the 2013 season with the Browns.
· Panthers OL Zach Banner spent last season with the Browns.
· Panthers P Michael Palardy spent time on the Browns’ practice squad in 2016.
at Denver Broncos, Dec. 15
· The Broncos own a 20-5 record in the all-time regular season series and have won the past 11 meetings between the clubs.
· The Browns are 22-9 all-time on Saturday.
· Offensive line coach Bob Wylie spent 2010 in the same role with the Broncos.
· Denver defensive assistant coach Chris Beak was an offensive assistant with the Browns from 2011-12.
· P Britton Colquitt played for the Broncos from 2010-15.
· OL Donald Stephenson spent two seasons (2016-17) with the Broncos.
· Denver WR Jordan Leslie was with the Browns for part of the 2017 season.