BEREA, Ohio--The Hue Jackson era will officially begin on Sept. 11 on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles.
In fact, five of the Browns first seven games are on the road.In addition, to the six AFC North Division games with Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Baltimore, the Browns will play the NFC East, as well as the AFC East.The Browns lone nationally televised game will be on Thursday Nov. 10 at Baltimore.
“I’m very excited because I also know that our players will be very excited about it,” Jackson said in a release. “It's a challenging schedule but we also knew that that was going to be the case when we started this. “Obviously, when you first look at the schedule there's five road games in the first seven, so we're going to be on the road and we understand this is the schedule we've been dealt. We've just got to have that mindset. We're going to pack a good team and go on the road and play good games.”
For the third consecutive season and fourth time since the team returned in 1999, the Browns will open the season on the road when they face the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Browns are 27-36 in season openers and have dropped their last 11.
Jackson’s first game on the FirstEnergy Stadium sidelines will come the following week against AFC North rival Baltimore. Cleveland has won back-to-back home openers.
“I've been down that road a few times, not as a head coach, but obviously having played within this division,” Jackson said. “Obviously, Baltimore is always going to be a tough game. Every game within our division is going to be tough.”
The Browns have back-to-back road games Weeks 3 and 4 at Miami and Washington and again Weeks 6 and 7 at Cincinnati and Tennessee. Between two sets of consecutive home games is the Browns’ Thursday night, Week 10 matchup at Baltimore on Nov. 10.
This year’s schedule features cross-division games against teams from the AFC East and NFC East, as Cleveland hosts the Jets, Patriots, Cowboys and Giants while traveling to face the Bills, Dolphins, Eagles and Redskins.
“I think they're extremely good organizations with great coaches and great players,” Jackson said. “But again, every team you play in the National Football League is good. We don't look at any of the divisions any different than any others. We think we play in the toughest division in football and we have great respect for all the others.”
The two non-division games unique to Cleveland’s schedule are its Week 6 trip to Tennessee and a Week 16 matchup with San Diego at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Browns’ bye, which is sandwiched between home games against the Giants and Bengals, falls Week 13, the latest possible slot on the schedule.
“A bye is a bye. It just means you have a week off,” Jackson said. “A lot of people like it early, a lot of people like it later. We don’t know how the season is going to unfold, no one does. Whenever the bye is, Week 13, that's when it's going to be and that's when we'll take advantage of it.”
After the bye, the Browns will close out the season with Cincinnati, at Buffalo, San Diego and at Pittsburgh.
“That's when the real football, people say, starts getting played,” Jackson said. “It's later in the season and normally that's the championship run, the playoff runs people go on. We've got to start fast and play great down the stretch and that's what we're going to try to accomplish.”
Below is the full season schedule, including the preseason:
Fri. Aug. 12--at Green Bay 8 pm
Thur. Aug. 18--Atlanta 8 pm
Fri. Aug. 26--at Tampa Bay
Thur. Sept. 1-- Chicago 8 pm
Week 1: Sept. 11 - at Philadelphia Eagles - 1 p.m.
Week 2: Sept. 18 - Baltimore Ravens - 1 p.m.
Week 3: Sept. 25 - at Miami Dolphins - 1 p.m.
Week 4: Oct. 2 - at Washington Redskins - 1 p.m.
Week 5: Oct. 9 - New England Patriots - 1 p.m.
Week 6: Oct. 16 - at Tennessee Titans - 1 p.m.
Week 7: Oct. 23 - at Cincinnati Bengals - 1 p.m.
Week 8: Oct. 30 - New York Jets - 1 p.m.
Week 9: Nov. 6 - Dallas Cowboys - 1 p.m.
Week 10: Nov. 10 - at Baltimore Ravens (Thursday) - 8:25 p.m./NFL Network
Week 11: Nov. 20 - Pittsburgh Steelers - 1 p.m
Week 12: Nov. 27 - New York Giants - 1 p.m.
Week 13: BYE
Week 14: Dec. 11 - Cincinnati Bengals - 1 p.m.
Week 15: Dec. 18 - at Buffalo Bills - 1 p.m.
Week 16: Dec. 24 - San Diego Chargers (Saturday) - 1 p.m.
Week 17: Jan. 1 - at Pittsburgh Steelers - 1 p.m.