The Browns didn’t have much to play for during the season, meaning that their attention should’ve been turned to next year early. But, as usual, Cleveland has become an amphitheatre for backstabbing between the coaches and the front office as well as for inconsistent play. With Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer gone, the Browns’ new coach-GM tandem face a challenging schedule next season:
Easiest game: @Tennessee
The Titans are the only team in the league with less talent than the Browns. Cleveland easily won their match-up this year with Johnny Manziel under centre. Now that the Browns seem to have discovered both a running game and a pass rush in the final weeks of the season, they should be even better against Tennessee a second time around.
Hardest game: vs New England
Bill Belichick is probably eager to beat the team that fired him during his first stint as a head coach. The Patriots are perennial contenders, and usually dominate the minnows, like their _ win over Jacksonville this season. New England has enough talent on defense to shut down Cleveland’s struggling offense. The Browns simply don’t have the personnel on defense to cope with Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and New England’s other weapons.
Most likely primetime game: @ Cincinnati
“The Battle of Ohio” usually commands one of the league’s primetime slots; usually a Thursday Night Football date. Local interest in football’s heartland gives this game an air of history, as does the bitter rivalry that exists between the two teams of legendary coach Paul Brown.