The 2013 NFL regular-season schedule has been announced, and here is a closer look at the opponents for the Cleveland Browns, who open the year with a game against the AFC East’s Miami Dolphins at FirstEnergy Stadium, Home of the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Sept. 8.
In addition to home-and-home series against the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers of the AFC North Division, the Browns will play the AFC East and NFC North divisions. Based on their fourth-place finish within the AFC North, the Browns will host the Jacksonville Jaguars (fourth in the AFC South) and travel to the Kansas City Chiefs (fourth in the AFC West).
AFC North Division
Baltimore Ravens (at Baltimore on Sunday, Sept. 15/home on Sunday, Nov. 3): For the fifth time in six years, the Browns will get to play the reigning Super Bowl champions, and for the second time in five years, they will have two chances against the NFL champs.
In those games, the Browns are 3-2, including a 2-0 mark at home.
In 2012, the Browns lost both games to the Ravens by a combined 17 points. After dropping a seven-point game in front of a national-television audience at Baltimore on Sept. 27, the Browns dropped a 10-point decision on Nov. 4.
Overall, the Browns are 7-21-0 against the Ravens, 4-10 in home games and 3-11 at Baltimore.
Key Additions: Defensive end Elvis Dumervil (from Denver).
Key Losses: Linebackers Ray Lewis (to retirement),
Cincinnati Bengals (home on Sunday, Sept. 29/at Cincinnati on Sunday, Nov. 17): The Browns and Bengals split the two meetings in 2012 when both teams protected home-field advantage. The Bengals earned a 34-27 come-from-behind victory at Paul Brown Stadium on Sept. 16, and the Browns returned the favor with a 34-24 win on Oct. 14. The win over Cincinnati was the Browns’ first of the season, and set off a streak where they won two games in a three-week period.
The Browns are 37-42-0 all-time against the Bengals, including a 23-16-0 mark in Cleveland.
Key Additions: The Bengals re-signed many of their own free agents, including running back Bernard Scott, defensive ends Robert Geathers and Michael Johnson, linebacker Rey Maualuga, kicker Mike Nugent, wide receiver Brandon Tate and cornerbacks Adam Jones and Terence Newman; Added quarterback John Skelton from waivers via Arizona.
Key Losses: Defensive tackle Pat Sims (to Oakland), linebacker Manny Lawson (to Buffalo), and special teams standout/linebacker Dan Skuta (to San Francisco).
Pittsburgh Steelers (home on Sunday, Nov. 24/at Pittsburgh on Sunday, Dec. 29): The Browns earned a 20-14 victory over the Steelers on Thanksgiving weekend in 2012, and two of their rookies made an impact for the offense. Quarterback
Despite not having Weeden or Richardson in the rematch because of injuries suffered in a loss at Denver on Dec. 23, the Browns were tied with the Steelers at 10-10 in the third quarter, but two Ben Roethlisberger touchdown passes gave Pittsburgh the win at Heinz Field. For the second time in three years, the Browns had a quarterback make his first NFL start in Pittsburgh.
The Browns carry a 57-63-0 record against the Steelers into 2013, including a 36-24-0 mark at home.
Key Additions: Re-signed wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Plaxico Burress, linebackers Larry Foote and Stevenson Sylvester, running back Jonathan Dwyer; signed tight end Matt Spaeth from Chicago).
Key Losses: Wide receiver Mike Wallace (to Miami) and linebacker James Harrison (released).
Miami Dolphins (Sunday, Sept. 8): The last two times the Browns and Dolphins shared a field, the games came down to the wire.
On Dec. 5, 2010, Cleveland defensive back Mike Adams intercepted a pass late in the fourth quarter that helped set up Dawson’s 14th career game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter or overtime. With Dawson’s kick, the Browns earned a 13-10 victory.
In the third game of the 2011 season, the Browns earned a 17-16 victory when wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Colt McCoy in the right corner of the East end zone with 43 seconds left to play.
In their history, the Browns are 8-7-0 against the Dolphins in the regular season, and carry a 6-4-0 mark in home games.
Key Additions: Signed wide receiver Mike Wallace (from Pittsburgh), linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (from Baltimore); Re-signed safety Chris Clemons, offensive lineman Nate Garner, wide receiver Brian Hartline and quarterback Matt Moore.
Key Losses: Left tackle Jake Long (to St. Louis), running back Reggie Bush (to Detroit), tight end Anthony Fasano (to Kansas City), and kicker Nate Kaeding (to Tampa Bay).
Buffalo Bills (Thursday, Oct. 3): Dating back to an 8-0 win in a blizzard on Dec. 16, 2007 at Cleveland Browns Stadium, the Browns and Bills will renew their inter-division rivalry for the sixth time in the last seven seasons, and Cleveland holds a 3-2 mark in the previous meetings.
On Legends Weekend last year, the Browns hosted the Bills, but Buffalo earned a 24-14 victory, after jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
This year’s game will be the first time the Browns host the Bills in regular-season games in back-to-back seasons. In 1990, the Browns hosted the Bills in a playoff game and won, 34-30, on Jan. 6, but 10 months later, Buffalo came back to Cleveland Municipal Stadium and earned a 42-0 victory.
The Browns are 10-7-0 against the Bills in the regular season, and 5-4-0 in home games.
Key Additions: Signed quarterback Kevin Kolb (free agent); re-signed running back Tashard Choice, cornerback Leodis McKelvin, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and offensive lineman Colin Brown.
Key Losses: Linebacker Shawne Merriman (to retirement), quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (released).
Detroit Lions (Sunday, Oct. 13): When the Browns and Lions last met in the regular season, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a last-second touchdown pass, and the extra point gave his team a 38-37 victory at Ford Field. Despite Stafford suffering a shoulder injury on an incompletion in the end zone as time expired, a pass-interference penalty and Browns timeout allowed him to re-enter the game and throw the winning touchdown.
The Browns are 4-14-0 all-time against the Lions in the regular season, 3-5-0 in games played in Cleveland, and suffered a 13-10 setback in their last home game against Detroit.
Key Additions: Re-signed safety Louis Delmas, tackle Corey Hilliard, cornerback Chris Houston, and linebacker DeAndre Levy; Signed defensive lineman C.J. Mosley (from Jacksonville), and kicker David Akers (from San Francisco).
Key Losses: Defensive end Cliff Avril (to Seattle), tackle Gosder Cherilus (to Indianapolis), defensive tackle Sammie Hill (to Tennessee), cornerback Drayton Florence (to Carolina), and kicker Jason Hanson (to retirement).
Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday, Dec. 1): This will be the fifth season in the last six years in which the Browns and Jaguars will play against each other, and the second straight game to be played in Cleveland. The Browns are 3-1 in the previous four meetings, and 2-0 in their home games.
Overall, the Browns are 5-9-0 against the Jaguars, whom they played in the AFC Central Division in 1995, and again from 1999-2001 before the NFL realigned into a four-division, two-conference format in 2002. The Browns are 2-5-0 in home games against the Jaguars.
Key Additions: Re-signed center Brad Meester and wide receiver Jordan Shipley; Signed running back Justin Forsett (from Houston) and Mohamed Massaquoi (from Cleveland).
Key Losses: Wide receiver Laurent Robinson, as well as defensive backs Dawan Landry and Aaron Ross (released).
Chicago Bears (Sunday, Dec. 15): The Browns and Bears are familiar preseason rivals, having ended the exhibition season against each other for the past decade. However, the two teams have met just three times since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999, and Chicago is 2-1 in those meetings.
Over the last four meetings, the Browns and Bears have alternated victories, with each team earning home wins. When the Browns and Bears last shared the field in the regular season, Chicago earned a 30-6 victory at Soldier Field.
The Browns are 9-5-0 all-time against the Bears, and 7-1-0 in home games during the regular season.
Key Additions: Signed tackle Jermon Bushrod (from New Orleans), and tight end Martellus Bennett (from the New York Giants).
Key Losses: Tight ends
Minnesota Vikings (Sunday, Sept. 22): The Vikings have won four straight games over the Browns, dating back to a 17-13 victory at the Metrodome on Nov. 22, 1992. The Browns last played the Vikings on opening day of the 2009 season, and fell, 34-20, at home. The Browns’ last trip to Minnesota resulted in a 24-12 loss on Nov. 27, 2005.
The Browns are 3-10-0 against the Vikings, and 1-6-0 at Minnesota. Their lone win was a 23-20 decision on Oct. 26, 1986.
Key Additions: Signed wide receiver Greg Jennings (from Green Bay), quarterback Matt Cassel (free agent); Re-signed Jerome Simpson, center Joe Berger, linebacker Erin Henderson and fullback Jerome Felton.
Key Losses: Wide receivers Percy Harvin (traded to Seattle) and Michael Jenkins (released), and cornerback Antoine Winfield (released).
Green Bay Packers (Sunday, Oct. 20): In the regular season, the Browns last played the Packers at Lambeau Field on Sept. 18, 2005, and came back to Cleveland with a 26-24 victory over their NFC North Division counterparts. However, the Packers returned the favor with a 31-3 win over the Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Oct. 25, 2009.
All-time, the Browns are 7-11-0 against the Packers, and 3-4-0 in games played at Lambeau Field.
Key Additions: Extended the contract of linebacker Clay Matthews III; Re-signed linebackers Robert Francois and Brad Jones; Signed tight end Matthew Mulligan and cornerback Loyce Means.
Key Losses: Wide receivers Donald Driver (to retirement) and Greg Jennings (to Minnesota); center Jeff Saturday (released) and defensive back Charles Woodson (released).
Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, Oct. 27): The last time the Browns and Chiefs played in Arrowhead Stadium on Dec. 20, 2009, Cleveland’s Joshua Cribbs and Jerome Harrison broke records in the team’s 41-34 victory. Cribbs returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, one for 100 yards, and another, 103. He was the first Browns player and second-ever in the NFL to have two 100-yard kickoff-return touchdowns. The first touchdown gave him the NFL record for the most career kickoff-return touchdowns, and his 269 kickoff-return yards were a Browns record.
While Cribbs was scoring touchdowns on special teams, Harrison, the team’s starting running back, ran for a team-best 286 yards, 49 more than Jim Brown ran for against Philadelphia (Nov. 19, 1961), and L.A. Rams (Nov. 24, 1957).
Against the Chiefs, the Browns are 10-10-2 overall, but 3-7-1 in games played at Arrowhead Stadium.
Key Additions: Signed cornerback Dunta Robinson (from Atlanta), wide receivers Donnie Avery (from Indianapolis) and Mardy Gilyard (from New York Jets), quarterback Chase Daniel (from New Orleans), tight end Anthony Fasano (from Miami); extended punter Dustin Colquitt and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.
Key Losses: Tight end Kevin Boss (released), wide receiver Steve Breaston (released), offensive lineman Eric Winston (released) and quarterback Matt Cassel (released).
New England Patriots (Sunday, Dec. 8): When the Browns and Patriots last played, Cleveland earned a 34-14 victory at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Nov. 7, 2010. Former Browns running back Peyton Hillis ran for 184 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries, and quarterback Colt McCoy completed 14 of 19 attempts for 174 yards in the victory, while the defense generated two fumbles and held Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to 52.8 percent completion and 224 yards.
The Browns are 12-9-0 all-time against the Patriots, and 5-5-0 in road games.
Key Additions: Wide receivers Danny Amendola (from St. Louis) and Michael Jenkins (free agent), running back Leon Washington (from Seattle), defensive lineman Tommy Kelly (from Oakland); re-signed wide receiver Julian Edelman, offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer, cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marquice Cole and linebacker Niko Koutouvides.
Key Losses: Wide receivers Wes Welker (to Denver) and Brandon Lloyd (released), running back Danny Woodhead (to San Diego), offensive lineman Donald Thomas (to Indianapolis), and safety Patrick Chung (to Philadelphia).
New York Jets (Sunday, Dec. 22): When the Browns travelled to New York to play the Jets on Dec. 9, 2007, they did so in the thick of a playoff race, and earned a 24-18 victory at Meadowlands Stadium. The game kept the Browns in the playoff scenario until the last day of the year.
The Jets earned a 26-20 overtime victory over the Browns when the two teams met three years later, on Nov. 14, 2010 at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
The Browns are 12-8-0 all-time against the Jets, and hold a 4-2-0 record in road games in this series. Including the 2007 meeting, the Browns have not lost a road game to the Jets since returning to the NFL in 1999. They are 2-0 in road games during that time.
Key Additions: Signed safety Dawan Landry (free agent), linebacker Antwan Barnes (from San Diego), running back Mike Goodson (from Oakland), offensive lineman Willie Colon (from Pittsburgh) , and defensive lineman Antonio Garay (from San Diego); Re-signed fullback Lex Hilliard and kicker Nick Folk.
Key Losses: Defensive end Mike DeVito (to Kansas City), running back Shonn Greene (to Tennessee), tight end Dustin Keller (to Miami) and safety LaRon Landry (to Indianapolis); linebackers Bart Scott and Calvin Pace (released), safety Eric Smith (released), offensive lineman Jason Smith (released), and tight end Josh Baker (released).