Browns 2022 schedule features just two prime-time games

The Browns are only guaranteed two prime-time games next season, but both clashes are expected to be TV shows as they face opponents AFC North.

After the Browns open the 2022 season on the road against the Carolina Panthers (1 p.m. Sept. 11) and at home against the New York Jets (1 p.m. Sept. 18), they will host division rival Pittsburgh Steelers at 8:15 p.m. pm on September 22 for a “Thursday Night Football” showdown streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The Browns’ other prime-time game will be a Week 8 appearance on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” against defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals at 8:15 p.m. on October 31 at FirstEnergy Stadium. .

“Our players love playing under the lights, and I know our fans love being loud under the lights,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said in a press release distributed by the team in conjunction with the release of the schedule. of the NFL. “To get the Steelers on ‘Thursday Night Football’ and then to get the Bengals on ‘Monday Night Football’, I know those will be amazing atmospheres to watch a ball game.”

The Browns didn’t play their first AFC North game until Halloween 2021, when they entered the season with Super Bowl expectations, but disappointed en route to an 8-9 record. This year, they’ll have three division games on the books by the end of Oct. 31 — the Steelers (Sept. 22), Baltimore Ravens (Week 7, 1 p.m. Oct. 23) and the defending division champion Bengals (October 31).

Deshaun Watson’s possible suspension weighs on Browns schedule

The possibility of a suspension hanging over the head of new Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson and the club’s regression last year from a starting spot in the 2020 playoffs to reasons for just two games in the prime time. Schedule exits in recent years have had the Browns with four prime-time games in 2019, two in 2020 and three in 2021.

However, there’s a chance the Browns could add prime-time games at the end of next season, and the more Watson plays, the more likely the Browns are to be relevant over time.

Acquired in a historic trade with the Houston Texans on March 18, Watson faces 22 active civil lawsuits from women accusing him of sexual misconduct or sexual assault during massage dates. Although two Texas grand juries combined to decline to indict Watson on 10 criminal complaints in March, he could be suspended by the NFL under its personal conduct policy.

It’s unclear whether former U.S. District Court Judge Sue Robinson, a disciplinary official jointly appointed by the league and the NFL Players Association, would rule on a suspension before the civil lawsuits are resolved. That could take at least until 2023, as lawyers for Watson and plaintiffs have agreed to avoid trial from August 1 to March 1, and the player has said he has no intention of settling the claims. business.

If Watson is suspended next season, Jacoby Brissett would start at quarterback for the Browns.

The six-page Personal Conduct Policy states, “Sexual assault involving physical force or committed against a person incapable of giving consent, a first violation will subject the offender to a six-game basic unpaid suspension, with possible adjustments.” upwards or downwards depending on any aggravating or mitigating factors”.

As long as Watson was available to play for the Browns in Week 13, his return to Houston to face the Texans at 1 p.m. on Dec. 4 would be national history.

NFL could turn Browns into more prime-time games

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) celebrates with linebacker Jacob Phillips after firing Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Brandon Allen during the second half Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in Cleveland.

The potential for more primetime appearances exists due to the possibility of flexible games and two weekends with undecided dates and times.

The NFL has yet to determine whether the Browns will host the Ravens on Dec. 17 or Dec. 18 in Week 15. Three of the five designated games will be played on Saturday and the other two on Sunday. The dates and start times for these games will be determined and announced during the season.

There’s a similar setup for the Browns’ regular season finale in Pittsburgh. The Browns and Steelers will end their schedule against each other for the 10th time in 15 seasons. The match will take place on January 7 or 8. In week 18, two games will be played on Saturday (4:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.) with others on Sunday afternoon (1 p.m. and 4:25 p.m.) and one on Sunday evening (8:20 p.m.) The dates and Times of these matchups will be determined and announced after the end of Week 17.

Aside from the mystery hour matchups, the two prime-time matchups and a Christmas Eve meeting in Cleveland with the New Orleans Saints (1 p.m. Saturday), the Browns’ other 12 games are scheduled. for 1 p.m. on Sunday.

The strength of the Browns schedule near the middle in the NFL

Based on their opponents’ records from last season, the Browns are tied with the Jets for the 17th toughest schedule in 2022. Their opponents went 142-145-2 combined last season for percentage wins of 0.495.

Five 2021 playoff teams are on the Browns’ schedule — the Steelers (Weeks 3 and 18), New England Patriots (Week 6, Oct. 16 at Cleveland), Bengals (Weeks 8 and 14), Bills Buffalo (Week 11, Nov. 16, 20 at New York) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Week 12, Nov. 27 at Cleveland).

The Browns think they have a measuring stick from weeks 5-8 when they host the Los Angeles Chargers (9-8 last season) and Patriots (10-7), visit the Ravens (8-9) and host the Bengals (10-7) ahead of a Week 9 bye.

“You always like to have the week off right in the middle,” Stefanski said. “We’re going to play eight games and then take a break and play nine games. I think there are advantages to having him in the middle of the season.

The Browns will have nine games on the road and eight at home. They will be home for five of their first eight games and away for six of their last nine. Three of the Browns’ final five games will be in the AFC North.

“It’s always an exciting day when you have the schedule,” Stefanski said. “For months we’ve known who’s playing and where, but seeing how it goes, where our bye week is and where our divisional opponents are is fun for our coaches. This first opponent is something you watch so you can start working on their coordinators, figure out what they did, and try to get ahead of this game.

In the preseason, the Browns will visit the Jacksonville Jaguars (7 p.m. Aug. 12) and host the Philadelphia Eagles (1 p.m. Aug. 21) and Chicago Bears (7 p.m. Aug. 27). The Browns and Eagles will hold joint practices at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Berea as part of their exhibition game preparation.

Nate Ulrich can be contacted at [email protected].

2022 Browns Schedule

September 11th : at the Panthers, 1 p.m./CBS

September 18: Jets, 1 p.m./CBS

September 22: Steelers, 8:15 p.m./Amazon Prime Video

October 2: at the Falcons, 1 p.m./CBS

October 9: Chargers, 1 p.m./CBS

October 16: Patriots, 1 p.m./CBS

October 23: at the Ravens, 1 p.m./CBS

October 31: Bengals, 8:15 p.m./ESPN

November 6: Goodbye

November 13: at the Dolphins, 1 p.m./CBS

November 20: at Bills, 1 p.m./CBS

November 27: Buccaneers, 1 p.m./FOX

December 4: at the Texans, 1 p.m./CBS

December 11: at the Bengals, 1 p.m./CBS

December 17 or 18: Ravens – TBD/TBD

December 24: Saints, 1 p.m./CBS

January 1st : at Commanders, 1 p.m./FOX

January 7 or 8: at Steelers, TBD/TBD

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