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After much anticipation, the NFL released the 2010 schedule on Tuesday evening, and for the first time in the expansion era, the Browns will open the season on the road.
During the 1995 season, they lost 17-14 in the opener at the Patriots, but this time around, the Browns will travel to Tampa Bay for their first game. The Browns last played in Tampa Bay on October 13, 2002, but over the years, they have had success in South Florida, going 3-1 against the Buccaneers.
The match-up in Tampa Bay will not be the only one in Florida for the Browns, as they will also travel to Jacksonville and Miami. It marks the first time the Browns have ever played all three teams from Florida in the same season.
“Opening the season in the heat and humidity of Tampa Bay emphasizes the importance of our team being in peak condition coming out of training camp,” said Browns coach Eric Mangini.“We have a challenging stretch towards the end of the year with four of five games on the road, and I expect our team to show the same resiliency as they did at the end of last season. I feel as though having our last three games against divisional opponents, including the final two at home, is a great feature for our fans, and I look forward to their tremendous support once again in 2010.”
The last time the Browns played three teams from the same state was in 1987. They played road games against the Raiders, 49ers and Chargers and a fourth game against a California team, the Los Angeles Rams, at home.
In addition to home and away games with the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals, the Browns will host the Jets, Patriots, Falcons, Panthers and Chiefs. They will travel to play the Bills, Dolphins, Buccaneers, Jaguars and reigning NFL champion Saints.
It will be the third straight season the Browns have played the defending Super Bowl champions.
Here are some interesting notes about the Browns’ 2010 schedule.
With the NFL wanting the best possible games during all 17 weeks of the season, the league decided to put divisional match-ups in the last weeks of the 2010 schedule.
Conceivably, a team could find themselves two games out of first place and on the bubble for a Wildcard berth, but winning the final three could make them a division champion. However, that is easier said than done.
The Browns travel to the Bengals on December 19th and return home for the final two weeks of the season against the Ravens and Steelers. No matter what the records are heading into the final three weeks of the season, those games will have meaning in terms of championship implications and playoff seeding.
After a December 5th game in Miami, the Browns will play the final four contests of the 2010 season in presumably cold weather conditions.
Prior to playing the Bengals in the last road game of the season, the Browns travel to Buffalo for a match-up with the Bills. The last time these teams met in December was back in 2007 at Cleveland Browns Stadium. A brutal snowstorm gripped the city of Cleveland that weekend and forced the Bills to take a bus back home on Monday afternoon because all air travel was grounded.
The Browns return home on December 26th to face the Ravens and two days into 2011, they host the Steelers in the regular season finale.
All games will air locally on the Cleveland Browns Radio Network, including the flagship station WMMS 100.7 FM.
2010 Browns Schedule
Sunday, September 12 at Buccaneers, 1:00PM
Sunday, September 19 vs. Chiefs, 1:00PM
Sunday, September 26 at Ravens, 1:00PM
Sunday, October 3 vs. Bengals, 1:00PM
Sunday, October 10 vs. Falcons, 1:00PM
Sunday, October 17 at Steelers, 1:00PM
Sunday, October 24 at Saints, 1:00PM
Sunday, October 31 Bye Week
Sunday, November 7 vs. Patriots, 1:00PM
Sunday, November 14 vs. Jets, 1:00PM
Sunday, November 21 at Jaguars, 1:00PM
Sunday, November 28 vs. Panthers, 1:00PM
Sunday, December 5 at Dolphins, 1:00PM
Sunday, December 12 at Bills, 1:00PM
Sunday, December 19 at Bengals, 1:00PM
Sunday, December 26 vs. Ravens, 1:00PM
Sunday, January 2 vs. Steelers, 1:00PM