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Cleveland Browns schedule preview: Weeks 1–4

Cleveland at New York Jets: Week 1 – September 13

Additions: CB Darrelle Revis, WR Brandon Marshall, CB Antonio Cromartie, CB Buster Skrine, OL James Carpenter, RB Stevan Ridley, ILB Joe Mays, SS Marcus Gilchrist, TE Kellen Davis, ILB Jamari Lattimore

Subtractions: WR Percy Harvin, DL Kendrick Ellis, CB Kyle Wilson, LB Nick Bellore, CB Phillips Adams

History:  The Browns own a 12-9 advantage in the all-time regular season series, including a 4-3 mark on the road.

What happened last time: Back in December 2013, the Jets defeated the Browns, 24-13, at MetLife Stadium. New York quarterback Geno Smith fired two touchdown passes. Starting for the Browns at quarterback and running back? Jason Campbell and Edwin Baker. 

Notable: Head coach Mike Pettine spent four seasons (2009-12) as the Jets defensive coordinator. He guided his units to a top-10 finish in fewest yards allowed each season … Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles spent four seasons (2001-04) coaching the Browns secondary … Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo was the Jets assistant quarterbacks coach in 2009 … Defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil spent four seasons (2009-12) coaching with the Jets … Assistant secondary coach Aaron Glenn was a first-round pick (12th overall) by the Jets in 1994. He appeared in 121 games and was selected to two Pro Bowls with the Jets. He later spent two seasons (2012-13) in the Jets' front office as a scout … Quarterbacks coach Kevin O'Connell spent three seasons (2009-11) as a quarterback with the Jets.

Storyline to watch: Normally when a team hires a new head coach and general manager like the Jets did with Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan, the team talks about having a lengthy process to return to winning. The Jets did none of that whatsoever, breaking the bank on three cornerbacks in an attempt to subdue Tom Brady and the Patriots. The arrival of Marshall adds legitimacy to what has been a lacking aerial attack. If the Jets are able to land quarterback Marcus Mariota with the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, New York could be a trendy AFC Wild Card pick.

Tennessee at Cleveland: Week 2 – September 20

Additions: OLB Brian Orakpo, CB Perrish Cox, SS Da'Norris Searcy, WR Harry Douglas, TE Anthony Fasano

Subtractions: QB Jake Locker, WR Nate Washington, OL Michael Oher, SS Brandon Ghee

History:  The Browns hold a 34-28 advantage in the all-time series

What happened last time: It was the defining game for the Cleveland Browns in 2014. Trailing by 25 points in the second quarter, the Browns rallied for a 29-28 victory, which became the largest come-from-behind road victory in NFL history. Wide receiver Travis Benjamin notched two touchdown catches in the win and a pivotal fourth-down stop from Donte Whitner and the defense made the comeback possible.

Notable: Titans Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt was a special teams coach with the Browns in 1999 … Tennessee defensive coordinator Ray Horton was the Browns' defensive coordinator in 2013 ... Quarterback Zach Mettenberger lost all four of his starts in 2014 but threw seven touchdowns to just four interceptions … Browns defensive lineman Randy Starks was a third-round pick (71st overall) by Tennessee in 2004. He played four seasons (2004-07) with the Titans.

Storyline to watch: Like the Browns, question marks continue to surround the quarterback position. The Jake Locker experiment ended in the quarterback opting for retirement. It's very likely Mettenberger will be competing with another rookie for the job, and it could be Mariota. Even if the Heisman winner from Oregon does arrive in Nashville, the Titans are coming off a 2-14 campaign where they ranked 30th on offense and 29th on defense. With the improvements from the Colts and Texans, Whisenhunt will have to roll up his sleeves to get Tennessee in the playoff picture. 

Oakland at Cleveland: Week 3 – September 27

Key Additions: C Rodney Hudson, RB Trent Richardson, NT Dan Williams, S Nate Allen

Key Subtractions: DE LaMarr Woodley, S Tyvon Branch, RB Darren McFadden

History: The Raiders lead the all-time series, 11-10

What happened last time: The Browns beat the Raiders, 23-13, last year at FirstEnergy Stadium to notch their second consecutive victory against Oakland.

Notable: A number of players and coaches have played for both sides, as Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, quarterback Josh McCown and defensive lineman Desmond Bryant all logged some significant time with the Raiders. On the flip side, Richardson and defensive back Larry Asante played for the Browns in the past.

Storyline: With new coach Jack Del Rio, the Raiders will hope to bring a new identity to Cleveland one year after they hung with the Browns but ultimately came up short. Expectations are high for quarterback David Carr to make a big leap in Year 2 after a promising rookie campaign but it's unclear what kind of playmakers he'll have surrounding him. Will there be a shiny new wide receiver for him after the Raiders pick at No. 4 in next week's draft?

Cleveland at San Diego, Week 4, Oct. 4

Key Additions: OL Orlando Franklin, WR Stevie Johnson, WR Jacoby Jones, DB Patrick Robinson

Key Subtractions: S Marcus Gilchrist, RB Ryan Mathews, WR Eddie Royal, DB Shareece Wright, LB Dwight Freeney

History: The Chargers hold a 14-8-1 advantage in the all-time series.

What happened last time: Trent Richardson ran for 122 yards and scored a touchdown in the first quarter, giving the Browns the only points they'd score in a 7-6 victory at FirstEnergy Stadium on Oct. 28, 2012.

Notable: In three starts against the Browns, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers has not thrown an interception.

Storyline: Will Rivers even be the Chargers quarterback when the teams square off in San Diego? Rivers has said he's not interested in agreeing to a new contract before his old one expires at the end of the season, and speculation has swirled that the Chargers are looking to proactively address the situation with a trade. Regardless, the Browns will be taking on a team with additional outside weapons thanks to the arrival of Johnson and Jones. How San Diego goes about running the ball, though, remains up in the air and very well could be addressed early in the draft.

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