Can you feel that in the air? No, not the fall chill. That’s the winds of Super Bowl aspirations. For the first time in a long time, Browns fans are preparing for a season that doesn’t end with a long, depressing walk back to the Muni Lot. But before you book your tickets to this year’s Super Bowl at Los Angeles' SoFi Stadium next February, snag tickets to these four must-watch Browns home matchups.
Week 2: Houston Texans, 1 p.m., CBS, Sept. 19
Welcome home, Browns fans. After opening the season with an AFC Divisional rematch against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Browns get a cushy home opener against the Texans. With all signs pointing towards Deshaun Watson not playing at the start of the season
(if he’s even still on Houston’s roster by this point), it looks as if Tyrod Taylor (old friend alert!) or Davis Webb could start behind center for the Texans. That, combined with Houston’s turnstile offensive line, should lead to
a big day for the Browns’ revamped defensive line of Malik McDowell, Takk McKinley, Jadeveon Clowney, Myles Garrett and Sheldon Richardson.
Our prediction: Browns 38, Texans 10
Week 6: Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m., FOX, Oct. 17
Much like the Browns, the Cardinals are an up-and-coming team that has received plenty of offseason love from pundits and fans alike. This early season matchup will be a good litmus test for the Browns. The Cardinals made some big swings this offseason, adding in veteran defensive lineman J.J. Watt, wide receiver A.J. Green and running back James Conner to its already-established core of wide receiver-quarterback duo DeAndre Hopkins and Kyler Murray. With the departure of longtime cornerback Patrick Peterson and the sudden retirement of offseason acquisition Malcom Butler, quarterback Baker Mayfield and company could have a big day through the air against Arizona’s suddenly thin secondary.
Our Prediction: Browns 42, Cardinals 20
Week 8: Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m., CBS, Oct. 31
Nothing like a Halloween matchup against the boys in black. The last time the Browns faced the Steelers, it ended with Ben Roethlisberger solemnly counting the blades of grass at Heinz Field while the Browns celebrated their first postseason victory since
1994. It’ll be interesting to see which version of Roethlisberger shows up this year for the Steelers: the version that led Pittsburgh to an 11-0 start while throwing 27 touchdowns or the version that finished the season with 1-4 with that aforementioned
Our Prediction: Browns 28, Steelers 24
Week 14: Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m., CBS, Dec. 12
These are the type of games the new-look Browns need to win. Normally, a December Browns game against a division rival means a blowout caused by a quarterback who will be coaching high school football this time next fall. That’s not the case now, as this game could end up being the difference between hosting a playoff game or having to travel. Last December, these teams combined for what might have been the game of the year. Let’s see if that trend continues.
Our prediction: Ravens 24, Browns 17
Travel Well: Tune In (Or Travel) To These Three Browns Away Games
Head to the bar or plan your party around these big games.
Week 1: at Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 p.m., CBS, Sept. 12
Playoff rematch. 'Nuff said
Week 10: at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m., CBS, Oct. 10
New Chargers coach Brandon Staley gets his first crack against his hometown team.
Week 16: at Green Bay Packers, 4:30 p.m., FOX, Dec. 25
The only thing we want for Christmas this year is a Browns win over the Packers.
Read More: Click here for Four Storylines To Follow This Season and here for By The Numbers: How The Betting Odds, Over/Under, Roster Moves And More Tell The Story Of The 2021 Browns.