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Cleveland Browns schedule preview: Weeks 9–13

*Cleveland at Cincinnati: Week 9, Nov. 5 (Thursday Night Football) *

Key Additions: LB A.J. Hawk, DE Michael Johnson, WR Denarius Moore

Key Subtractions: TE Jermaine Gresham, T Marshall Newhouse

History: Bengals hold a 44-39 advantage in regular-season matchups

What happened last year: The Browns and Bengals split their two games with each team notching a dominant blowout on its opponent's home field. Cleveland completely controlled a 24-3 victory on Nov. 6, at Paul Brown Stadium, and the Bengals returned the favor with a 30-0 rout Dec. 14 at FirstEnergy Stadium that effectively ended the Browns' playoff hopes.

Notable: The Browns and Bengals have split their season series nine times since Cleveland returned as a franchise in 1999.

Storyline: Of all the teams in the North, Cincinnati saw the least attrition while adding two potential starters on defense in Hawk and Johnson. The Bengals' offense is largely unchanged but there remains some question marks as to who will step up at wide receiver in the event A.J. Green is bottled up by the opposing defense. That's exactly what Joe Haden was able to accomplish last season, as Green caught just eight passes for 72 yards in the two contests. The Browns will need answers on run defense, where they ranked 32nd in the NFL in 2014 after their last showing against the Bengals, as Jeremy Hill and Co. plowed over Cleveland for 244 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Cleveland at Pittsburgh: Week 10, Nov. 15

Key Additions: RB DeAngelo Williams, QB Tajh Boyd, LB Shayon Green

Key Subtractions: OLB Jason Worilds, CB Brice McCain, DE Brett Keisel, DB Troy Palomalu, DB Ike Taylor

History: Steelers hold a 66-58 advantage in regular-season matchups

What happened last year: The Browns and Steelers split their two games in 2014. A big Browns comeback came up short in a Week 1 loss at Pittsburgh while a rally wasn't necessary in Cleveland's 31-10 victory over the Steelers on Oct. 12 at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Notable: The Browns' 21-point margin of victory in last year's home rout was the team's largest since 1989, when it beat Pittsburgh, 51-0.

Storyline: The Browns haven't beaten the Steelers in consecutive seasons since 1999-2000. To accomplish what they'd like in 2015 and put another check mark on its to-do list, Cleveland will seek to finish .500 or better in one of the NFL's toughest divisions. To do that, it will have to overcome a Pittsburgh offense that is primed to be one of the most potent of the Mike Tomlin era. The Browns secondary, which is considered one of the best in the NFL, won't face a better wide receiver tandem in the division than Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant.

Week 11: BYE WEEK

Baltimore vs. Cleveland: Week 12, Nov. 30 (Monday Night Football)

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?

Cincinnati vs Cleveland: Week 13, Dec. 6

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