The 2007 NFL schedule, a piece of information guarded as carefully as the voting for the Pope, was released today and it starts off with the Browns playing their bitter rivals at home. Time to pour over the schedule and figure out what it means for the Browns in 2007. Here is the team's press release...
The Cleveland Browns announced their 2007 playing schedule today. Along with home and road games against division opponents Baltimore, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, the Browns will host Buffalo, Houston, Miami, San Francisco and Seattle at home and travel to Arizona, New England, New York Jets, Oakland and St. Louis.
2007 Schedule Notes
The Browns open the regular season at home vs. AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1:00 p.m. Cleveland has opened the regular season at home every year since returning to the NFL in 1999.
Four of the Browns' 13 opponents qualified for the playoffs in 2006. Baltimore (North) and New England (East) won their AFC Divisions, Seattle won the NFC West Division and New York Jets earned an AFC Wild Card berth.
The combined 2006 record of the Browns' 2007 opponents is 130-126, including each division opponent twice. Also, three opponents won ten or more games in 2006: Baltimore (13-3); New England (12-4); and New York Jets (10-6).
Of the 13 teams the Browns play in 2007, eight have starting quarterbacks who were former first round picks – Steve McNair (Baltimore), Carson Palmer (Cincinnati), Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh), Chad Pennington (N.Y. Jets), Matt Leinart (Arizona), Alex Smith (San Francisco), J.P. Losman (Buffalo), and Daunte Culpepper (Miami).
The Browns run defense will face six running backs that topped the 1,000-yard barrier last season—Frank Gore, San Francisco (1,695); Steven Jackson, St. Louis (1,528); Willie Parker, Pittsburgh (1,494); Rudi Johnson, Cincinnati (1,309); Edgerrin James, Arizona (1,159); and Ronnie Brown, Miami (1,008).
The Browns pass defense will face eight receivers that topped the 1,000-yard mark last season – Chad Johnson, Cincinnati (1,369); Lee Evans, Buffalo (1,292); Anquan Boldin, Arizona (1,203); Torry Holt, St. Louis (1,188); Andre Johnson, Houston (1,147); Isaac Bruce, St. Louis (1,098); Laveranues Coles, N.Y. Jets (1,098); and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati (1,081); and seven quarterbacks that topped the 3,000-yard passing mark last season – Marc Bulger, St. Louis (4,301); Carson Palmer, Cincinnati (4,035); Tom Brady, New England (3,529); Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (3,513); Chad Pennington, N.Y. Jets (3,352); J.P. Losman, Buffalo (3,051); and Steve McNair, Baltimore (3,050).
Several Browns players signed during free agency will face their former teams including: OL Eric Steinbach and DT Shaun Smith vs. Cincinnati on Sept. 16 and Dec. 23; RB Jamal Lewis vs. Baltimore on Sept. 30 and Nov. 18; LB Antwan Peek vs. Houston on Nov. 25; OL Seth McKinney vs. Miami on Oct. 14; and S Mike Adams vs. San Francisco on Dec. 30.
The Browns will face several of the top offensive units from last season – St. Louis Rams ranked sixth in the NFL and featured QB Marc Bulger (4,301 yards passing) with RB Steven Jackson (1,528 yards rushing) and receivers Torry Holt (1,188 yards receiving) and Isaac Bruce (1,098 yards receiving); Pittsburgh ranked seventh offensively with QB Ben Roethlisberger (3,513 yards passing) and RB Willie Parker (1,494 yards rushing); and Cincinnati ranked eighth in the NFL and featured QB Carson Palmer (4,035 yards passing), RB Rudi Johnson (1,309 yards rushing) and receiving duo Chad Johnson (1,369 yards receiving) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (1,081 yards receiving).
The Browns will also face three of the NFL's top four defensive units from the 2006 campaign. The Baltimore Ravens (264.1 yards per game) were the best defensive unit in the NFL, while Oakland ranked third and Miami finished fourth. Additional opponents that ranked in the top ten defensive units last season include New England (sixth) and Pittsburgh (ninth).
The San Francisco 49ers will visit Cleveland for the first time since Sept. 13, 1993, when the Browns defeated the 49ers, 23-13 in a Monday night contest; and the Buffalo Bills visit for the first time since Oct. 2, 1995, when the Bills earned a 22-19 victory in a Monday night affair.
2007 Cleveland Browns Schedule
Date Opponent Time/TV
Sat., Aug. 11 Kansas City Chiefs 7:30 p.m. EDT
Sat., Aug. 18 Detroit Lions 7:00 p.m. EDT
Sat., Aug. 25 at Denver Broncos 9:00 p.m. EDT
Thur., Aug. 30 at Chicago Bears 8:00 p.m. EDT
Date Opponent Time/TV
Sun., Sept. 9 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Sun., Sept. 16 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Sun., Sept. 23 at Oakland Raiders 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Sun., Sept. 30 Baltimore Ravens 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Sun., Oct. 7 at New England Patriots 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Sun., Oct. 14 Miami Dolphins 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Sun., Oct. 21 Bye Week
Sun., Oct. 28 at St. Louis Rams 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Sun., Nov. 4 Seattle Seahawks 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Sun., Nov. 11 at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 p.m. (CBS) *
Sun., Nov. 18 at Baltimore Ravens 1:00 p.m. (CBS) *
Sun., Nov. 25 Houston Texans 1:00 p.m. (CBS) *
Sun., Dec. 2 at Arizona Cardinals 4:05 p.m. (CBS) *
Sun., Dec. 9 at New York Jets 4:15 p.m. (CBS) *
Sun., Dec. 16 Buffalo Bills 1:00 p.m. (CBS) *
Sun., Dec. 23 at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 p.m. (CBS) *
Sun., Dec. 30 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 p.m. (FOX) *
* Beginning week 10, the NFL will move to a ‘flexible' schedule, as games are subject to the possible change from a 1:00 p.m. Sunday start to a Sunday night prime time viewing.