The Cleveland Browns were a major disappointment in 2019. Baker Mayfield struggled in his second season, Myles Garrett was suspended and Odell Beckham Jr. caught just four TDs. Freddie Kitchens was fired after a 6-10 record.
It’s a new day in 2020. Kevin Stefanski is in at head coach, the Browns made shrewd free agency moves and the schedule is less daunting than last season.
Here is a complete breakdown of the Cleveland Browns’ 2020 schedule, including dates and start times for all 16 games and our early prediction.
Cleveland Browns schedule 2020
- Home: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Houston, Washington, Philadelphia
- Road: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, N.Y. Jets, Jacksonville, Tennessee, N.Y. Giants, Dallas
The Cleveland Browns’ full schedule will be released Thursday at 8 p.m. ET along with the entire 2020 NFL schedule.
Cleveland’s schedule might feature less prime-time games this season after last year’s busted season. That’s fine.
The good news is the schedule features just four teams that finished above .500 last season in Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia and Tennessee. The Browns have a 6-5-1 record in the AFC North last season. That bodes well in a potential bounce-back season.
Browns strength of schedule
Cleveland’s opponents had a .461 winning percentage last season, and that means the Browns’ have the fourth-easiest schedule by record.
The NFC East opponents had a combined record of 24-38 last season, and that is friendlier than the NFC West slate Cleveland went 0-4 against in 2019.
Toughest tests: Cleveland’s 2019 season began with a whimper in a 43-13 loss to the Titans, and that is among the toughest road games outside the division.
Dallas will mark a homecoming of sorts for Mayfield, who played his high school ball at Lake Travis in Austin, Texas. The Browns are just 1-5 at Dallas in the Super Bowl era, and that will be a tough game as usual.
Cleveland did beat Baltimore 40-25 on the road last season, and the Ravens will certainly want revenge for that. Indianapolis and Houston are solid teams that can come into Cleveland and steal wins.
Biggest breaks: The five non-divisional opponents on the Browns’ schedule had a combined 19-19 record at home last season. The Raiders had a 4-3 record at home in 2020, and that will be an interesting road trip to the new location in Las Vegas.
The Browns still have to take advantage of that. Cleveland is 4-12 on the road the last two seasons. The only teams that have been worse are Miami (3-13), Oakland (3-13) and Cincinnati (2-13).
Speaking of Cincinnati, the in-state rivalry matchups with the Bengals will have more spice with the addition of Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow.
Bottom line: It’s going to come down to what this team learned from last year’s failure to meet the hype. Stefanski brings in a new mindset, and Cleveland should be able to challenge for the postseason against this schedule.
For that to happen, Mayfield is going to have to prove it more offense in the big games. He’s 4-11 as a starter against teams with a winning record the last two seasons, and that’s going to have change if they want to compete for a AFC North championship.
If the Browns finish .500 or better against the AFC South and NFC East, then they will make the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
Record prediction: 9-7