The Browns are set to face three divisional opponents in their first four games, host one big late-season primetime matchup and play three road games out west among the 17 games on their 2023 regular season schedule.
The NFL announced on Thursday its complete schedule for the regular season, and it begins for the Browns with a matchup against the Bengals on Sept. 10 at Cleveland Browns Stadium for their first Week 1 home opener since 2019. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. on CBS.
|at Pittsburgh Steelers
|San Francisco 49ers
|at Indianapolis Colts
|at Seattle Seahawks
|at Baltimore Ravens
|at Denver Broncos
|at Los Angeles Rams
|at Houston Texans
|New York Jets
|at Cincinnati Bengals
"Everybody loves schedule release day," head coach Kevin Stefanski said. "It's fun to finally see when all the games are happening, and to open it up with the division champs in the Battle of Ohio in front of our fans is outstanding. I know our players, coaches and staff are excited to get going at home right away in the AFC North."
The divisional matchups will keep coming for the Browns early in the season, which will continue with a huge Monday Night Football battle for Week 2 in Pittsburgh on Sept. 18. The game will air on ABC with an 8:15 p.m. kickoff and give the Browns another chance to build a fast start in their divisional record, and it will be just the third time in franchise history they've opened the season against consecutive AFC North opponents (2020 and 2017).
The Browns will return home for Week 3 against the Titans on Sept. 24 before taking on yet another divisional matchup in Week 4 against the Ravens at home.
With three divisional matchups in the first four games, the Browns will have a big opportunity to establish an early lead in the AFC North.
"It's certainly a unique way to start the season, but I think it's really cool," Stefanski said. "I think we have the best division in football — a bunch of great players and great coaches. We know each other so well and we've played each other so many times. It lends itself to a great rivalry, so to see the Bengals in Week 1, Steelers in Week 2 and Ravens in Week 4 means there's no easing into this one."
The Browns' 2023 regular-season schedule has been released. Check out how the season unfolds with this photo gallery
With a Week 5 bye, the Browns will be one of the first teams in the league to hit their mid-season break and will have an early opportunity to recharge as the calendar flips to October.
"We like having the bye week where it is," Stefanski said. "It's going to be four really tough games to start, and then we'll take a breather. Then, we'll have a great opportunity in front of us with a home game against a very, very good 49ers team, and then we get on the road against some really good teams. That's the meat of our schedule — being on the road and trying to find a way to win against really good opponents. That's the competitive aspect of this I think our guys are excited about."
The Browns will return from the bye to play their first of three games against NFC West opponents this season and welcome the 49ers to Cleveland on Oct. 15. They will then travel for back-to-back weeks for the first time of the season against the Colts (Oct. 22) and Seahawks (Oct. 29), with the latter matchup set to air at 4:05 p.m. on FOX.
The Browns will knock out the second of their two divisional games against the Ravens and Steelers in back-to-back weeks in Weeks 10-11. They'll head to Baltimore on Nov. 12 and then host the Steelers on Nov. 19.
Then, they'll head west for two road games to play the Broncos on Nov. 26 and the Rams on Dec. 3 before anchoring at home for the next two weeks when they'll host the Jaguars and Bears. The date and time for the Week 15 matchup against Chicago has yet to be determined.
A primetime atmosphere will finally return to Cleveland in Week 17, and it'll be against a crucial AFC opponent. The Browns will host QB Aaron Rodgers and the Jets on Dec. 28 on Thursday Night Football, which will mark their final home game of the season and could be a game with heavy playoff implications in the AFC.
The Browns have been dominant in recent years when playing at home for TNF — they've won their past seven home TNF games and are 8-2 all time on that primetime stage. They've also won their past five total TNF games.
"We love night games, and we love Thursday night games particularly when we're at home," Stefanski said. "It's just such a cool time for our fans to get under the lights and make a huge difference in the game like they do. As competitors, you want to play in those games because you know the whole country's watching."
The Browns' final game could hold massive playoff implications, too, in a road matchup against the Bengals in Week 18. The Browns will open and close their season against the Bengals, which is the fifth time in team history they've opened and closed a season against the same opponent (2017, 1963, 1957, 1956). The game date and time is also still to be determined, which the NFL temporarily sets for all Week 18 games. Kickoff times will be decided after Week 17.
With the exceptions of the primetime games in Week 2 and Week 17 and road kickoffs in Weeks 8, 12 and 13, all scheduled kickoff times are set for 1 p.m.
This season, "flexible scheduling" for Sunday Night Football may be used up to twice between Weeks 5-10, and in the NFL's discretion during Weeks 11-17; and for Monday Night Football in the NFL's discretion in Weeks 12-17. During the Flex Scheduling Windows, the games initially scheduled for Sunday Night Football (on NBC) and Monday Night Football (on ESPN or ABC) are tentatively scheduled and subject to change. Only Sunday afternoon games (or those listed as TBD) are eligible to be moved to Sunday night or Monday night, in which case the initially scheduled Sunday/Monday night game would be moved to Sunday afternoon. Sunday afternoon games may also be moved between 1:00 p.m. and 4:05 p.m. or 4:25 p.m. ET. As in prior seasons, for Week 18, the final weekend of the season, the scheduling of the Saturday, Sunday afternoon, and the Sunday night games is not assigned. In Week 18, two games will be played on Saturday (4:30 PM ET and 8:15 PM ET) with the remainder to be played on Sunday afternoon (1:00 PM ET and 4:25 PM ET) and one matchup to be played on Sunday night (8:20 PM ET). Specific dates, start times, and networks for Week 18 matchups will be determined and announced following the conclusion of Week 17. For more information about NFL Flexible Scheduling, please visithttps://www.nfl.com/schedules/flexible-scheduling-procedures.