The 2017 NFL Schedule has finally been released and one thing is clear, the league has no love for the Cleveland Browns.
The 2016 schedule made for a rough season for the Cleveland Brown. While the team might be a bit more successful in 2017, this year’s schedule might be even harder on fans. The NFL released the 2017 schedule on Thursday night, and Cleveland’s schedule is — well, it isn’t much fun.
The year opens with a home game against Cleveland’s biggest bully, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yes, it’s another home opener, which likely means a quick 0-1 home record. Speaking of home records, the best the Browns can possibly be is 7-0 at home because the team is giving up one of their home games to play the Minnesota Vikings in London. That game will wrap up the team’s second month.
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The first month is particularly brutal. The Browns play all three division opponents with a road game against the Indianapolis Colts sandwiched in. That second month is a little easier, but not by much. There’s a winnable game against the New York Jets followed by tough games against the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans and the Vikings.
Oh, and that Vikings game is Cleveland’s NFL Network appearance for the year. That’s right, the Browns don’t get a primetime game — not even one on Thursday night.
Cleveland does get a nice Week 9 bye, but the team only has three home games following it. One of them is against the always-dangerous Green Bay Packers. And lucky for the Browns, they get to end the year against the Steelers too. In Pittsburgh. Unless the Steelers already have a playoff spot locked in, that’s likely to be an ugly end to an ugly season.
Of course, the Browns could surprise and be competitive in 2017. Judging by the schedule, though, the league doesn’t expect them to be, and it doesn’t expect many fans will want to tune in to watch them.