(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
By Andrew Gribble, ClevelandBrowns.com Senior Manager, Digital Media
The Browns will have a major presence under the national spotlight with four primetime games highlighting their 2019 schedule.
The NFL announced its complete schedule Wednesday, revealing a slate that features Cleveland’s first Sunday Night Football game since 2008, two Monday Night Football games and a return to Thursday Night Football at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns also finalized dates and times on their preseason schedule, which includes an Aug. 17 matchup with the Colts that will serve as the culmination to a set of joint practices between the two AFC foes.
Thursday, Aug. 8 – Washington Redskins – 7:30 p.m./News 5 Cleveland
Saturday, Aug. 17 – at Indianapolis Colts – 4:00 p.m./News 5 Cleveland
Friday, Aug. 23 – at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 7:30 p.m./News 5 Cleveland
Thursday, Aug. 29 - Detroit Lions – 7:30 p.m./News 5 Cleveland
Week 1: Sept. 8 - Tennessee Titans – 1:00 p.m./CBS
Week 2: Sept. 16 (Mon) – at New York Jets – 8:15 p.m./ESPN
Week 3: Sept. 22 – Los Angeles Rams – 8:20 p.m./NBC
Week 4: Sept. 29 - at Baltimore Ravens – 1:00 p.m./CBS
Week 5: Oct. 7 (Mon) – at San Francisco 49ers – 8:15 p.m./ESPN
Week 6: Oct. 13 – Seattle Seahawks – 1:00 p.m./FOX
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: Oct. 27 - at New England Patriots – 4:25 p.m./CBS
Week 9: Nov. 3 – at Denver Broncos – 4:25 p.m./CBS
Week 10: Nov. 10 – Buffalo Bills – 1:00 p.m./CBS
Week 11: Nov. 14 (Thu) – Pittsburgh Steelers – 8:20 p.m./FOX-NFLN-Amazon
Week 12: Nov. 24 – Miami Dolphins – 1:00 p.m./CBS
Week 13: Dec. 1 – at Pittsburgh Steelers – 4:25 p.m./CBS
Week 14: Dec. 8 – Cincinnati Bengals – 1:00 p.m./CBS
Week 15: Dec. 15 - at Arizona Cardinals – 4:05p.m./CBS
Week 16: Dec. 22 - Baltimore Ravens – 1:00 p.m./CBS
Week 17: Dec. 29 - at Cincinnati Bengals – 1:00 p.m./CBS
“It’s great to get the schedule but honestly it really doesn’t matter where the games fall. It’s our job to be ready, regardless of when or what time we play,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said. “We know our fans are very excited about the season and we know they will carry that excitement into the season opener. Right now, our focus must be on ourselves and not on any other team.“For us, it’s about coming to work every day, intent on improvement.”
The Browns will open the season at FirstEnergy Stadium for the third consecutive year when they face off against the Titans. From there, three of the next four games are under the lights, as Cleveland makes Monday night road trips to face the New York Jets in Week 2 and the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5 with a Sunday Night Football game at FirstEnergy Stadium against the reigning NFC Champion Rams slated for Week 3. The Week 2-3 stretch will mark just the second time in team history the club will play primetime games in consecutive weeks (Nov. 6 and Nov. 17 in 2008 was the first).
The Browns’ fourth scheduled primetime game is set for Thursday night of Week 11 (Nov. 14) against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cleveland’s four scheduled primetime games are its most since 2008, when it had five.
This year’s schedule features cross-division games against teams from the AFC East and NFC West, as Cleveland hosts the Bills (Week 10), Dolphins (12), Seahawks (6) and Rams (3) while traveling to face the Patriots (8), Jets (2), Cardinals (15) and 49ers (5). The Browns’ matchup with the reigning Super Bowl champion Patriots is slated for Week 8, right after a Week 7 bye, and will kickoff in CBS’ late-afternoon window at 4:25 p.m.
The Browns open their AFC North schedule Week 4 on the road at Baltimore -- their only divisional matchup in the schedule’s first 10 weeks. For the first time since the formation of the division in 2002, Cleveland will face the same opponent twice in a period of three weeks, as it follows up its Week 11 home matchup against the Steelers with a Week 13 trip to Pittsburgh. Three of the final four games are against division foes, as the Browns host the Bengals and Ravens in Weeks 14 and 16, respectively, before their season finale at Cincinnati. It marks the first time since 2003 the Browns will finish the season against their in-state rival.
The Titans and Broncos, whom Cleveland faces in Denver in Week 9, are the only two opponents unique to the Browns when compared to the rest of the AFC North.
Cleveland’s Week 10 game against the Bills kicks off a stretch of three consecutive home games, marking the first such instance since 2016.
“We appreciate the atmosphere our fans create for us on game day. That is very important to our success but we definitely want that energy to reach another level at homes games this season,” Kitchens said. “We want fans in their seats early and we want the building to be very, very loud. We plan on doing our part to help create more excitement, so we are going to continue to work hard to individually and collectively improve as football team during the offseason.”