The Browns' 2019 schedule is public, which means it's time for everyone to grab those red, chisel-tipped markers and start acting like football Nostradamus.
While we won't ever predict wins and losses here (you're free to do what you want), we will factor in the strength of the opponents listed.
Last season, the Browns finished tied for the fifth-toughest schedule in the NFL (based on 2017 winning percentage), facing a slate that boasted an average winning percentage of .523. Only Green Bay, New Orleans, Detroit and Tampa Bay had a higher average opposing winning percentage in that season.
The Browns tied with Seattle and the Los Angeles Rams at that opposing winning percentage. Both of those teams made the playoffs, and the Rams won the NFC.
Strength of schedule isn't a clear indicator of future success or failure, of course, but does help a little bit with trying to predict how things might turn out. The downside: It doesn't account for roster turnover, which shapes about a third of every roster in the NFL on an annual basis.
The Browns' 2019 regular-season schedule has been released. Check out how the season unfolds with this photo gallery.
Players come and go. Figuring out which departures or arrivals translate into wins -- which should also include coaching changes -- is the difficult part. This is why "on paper" is a phrase, and why they play the games.
In 2019, the Browns face the entire NFC West and AFC East, as well as the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos (due to similar finishes in overall record in 2018) and the usual AFC North opponents twice each. That group includes both participants in Super Bowl LIII: the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.
As for the grand reveal, the Browns' opposing win percentage for 2019 comes out to...
That number would have landed the Browns in the range of 21st to 24th toughest in the league in 2018. The four teams that occupied those spots -- Baltimore, New England, Indianapolis and the Los Angeles Chargers -- all made the playoffs in 2018.
That bodes well. But again, it's just contextual info. The real work -- and wins -- have yet to be achieved.
|New York Jets||4-12|
|Los Angeles Rams||13-3|
|San Francisco 49ers||4-12|
|New England Patriots||11-5|