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Cleveland Browns schedule preview: Weeks 5–8

Cleveland at Baltimore: Week 5, Oct. 11

Key Additions: S Kendrick Lewis, QB Matt Schaub

Key Subtractions: DT Haloti Ngata, CB Victor Hampton, RB Bernard Pierce, WR Torrey Smith, DT Terrance Cody, WR Jacoby Jones, TE Owen Daniels, DE Pernell McPhee, S Darian Stewart

History: Baltimore leads the all-time series, 24-8.

What happened last year: Baltimore swept the series with two victories that were decided in the fourth quarter. The Ravens rallied for a 23-21 win at FirstEnergy Stadium early in the season and did the same in Week 17 to beat the Browns, 20-10, and clinch a playoff berth.

Notable: The Browns have started a different quarterback in each of their last four games against the Ravens.

Storyline: The Ravens won't call it a rebuilding year, but their roster certainly will have a different flavor to it when the rivals meet this season. Three of the starters Baltimore used on defense against the Browns in Week 3 are no longer with the team and one of Joe Flacco's top playmaking threats, Smith, is now playing on the other side of the country. Can Baltimore once again maintain its spot at or near the top in the North with a shrewd draft?

Denver vs Cleveland: Week 6, Oct. 18

Key Additions: TE Owen Daniels, OL Shelley Smith, S Darian Stewart, LB Reggie Walker, DL Vance Walker

Key Subtractions: TE Julius Thomas, WR Wes Welker, OL Orlando Franklin, LB Nate Irving, DL Terrance Knighton, S Rahim Moore, TE Jacob Tamme

History: Denver holds a 19-5 advantage over the Browns and have won the past 10 meetings.

What happened last time: The Broncos took a lead late in the first quarter and never looked back in a 34-12 win in Denver on Dec. 23, 2012.

Notable: In six games against the Browns, Peyton Manning is 138-of-207 for 1,456 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions. The Browns are the only team Manning's faced with more interceptions than touchdowns surrendered.

Storyline: The Broncos have been in win-now mode ever since they signed Manning and the clock appears to be ticking even faster after last season's unceremonious exit from the postseason. Manning survived the loss of Eric Decker to the Jets last season and he'll have to overcome even more in 2015 without Thomas and Welker. Still, it will be hard to find many picking against the Broncos to, at the minimum, win the AFC West so long as Manning is under center.

Cleveland at St. Louis: Week 7 – Oct. 25

Additions: QB Nick Foles, DT Nick Fairley, OLB Akeem Ayers

Subtractions: QB Sam Bradford, QB Shaun Hill, DL Kendall Langford, OL Mike Person

History:  The Rams hold a 10-9 all-time advantage in the regular season matchup.

What happened last year/time they played: The Rams escaped FirstEnergy Stadium with a 13-12 victory back in 2011. It was a busy season for kicker Phil Dawson, who booted four field goals in the loss.

Notable: The Rams have yet to finish above .500 in head coach Jeff Fisher's three seasons with the club … Browns right guard John Greco played his first three seasons in St. Louis before being traded to Cleveland in the summer of 2011 … Browns running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery broke into the league with the Rams, coaching Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk.

Storyline to watch: After an injury-filled five seasons with Bradford, the Rams flipped the former No. 1 overall pick to the Eagles for Foles. A year after throwing 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions, the 26-year-old Foles came crashing back down to earth in 2014, tossing 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in eight games. The Rams have flirted with mediocrity for 10 seasons now and are without a season above .500 since 2004. St. Louis has hope, though.  With one of the NFL's best defensive lines and a productive young running back in Tre Mason, Foles may stabilize the offense and, in turn, the Rams could finally challenge for an NFC wild card spot.

Arizona at Cleveland: Week 8 – Nov. 1

Additions: OL Mike Iupati,  OLB Sean Weatherspoon, DE Cory Redding, DE LaMarr Woodley,  DT Corey Peters, OL A.Q. Shipley, QB Chandler Harnish

Subtractions: DT Dan Williams, CB Antonio Cromartie, TE Rob Housler, WR Ted Ginn, DT Darnell Dockett, OLB Sam Acho, OL Paul Fanaika

History:  The Browns lead the all-time series 33-13-3, including a 15-6-2 mark at home.

What happened last time: An overtime field goal from Cardinals kicker Jay Feely helped Arizona prevail, 20-17, back in 2011. Former Browns wide receiver Greg Little hauled in a career-high 131 yards through the air.

Notable: Arizona Head coach Bruce Arians was the Browns offensive coordinator from 2001-03, while Linebacker Karlos Dansby was selected by the Cardinals in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played seven seasons (2004-09, 2013) in Arizona and led the team in tackles and recorded an interception during Super Bowl XLIII. Quarterback Josh McCown was selected by Arizona in the third round (81st overall) of the 2002 draft. He started 22 games with the Cardinals from 2002-05.

Storyline to watch: The Cardinals reached the playoffs in 2014 as a Wild Card team despite severe offensive ineptitude (ranked 24th in the NFL). After Carson Palmer tore his ACL, three other quarterbacks saw action under center. Patrick Peterson and Arizona's unheralded defense carried the Cardinals to a 9-1 record to start the season. With Palmer back in the fold and Arians' ongoing culture change (21-11 record in two seasons), Arizona has Super Bowl aspirations.

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