The Browns' 2022 schedule is out, and we're taking a look at the five most intriguing matchups — which includes both of the Browns' primetime games and other battles against some of the top teams in the league.
Week 3 | vs. Pittsburgh Steelers | 8:15 p.m. (Thursday Night Football)
The Browns won't have to wait long for their first primetime game or their first battle against an AFC North rival.
It'll happen at FirstEnergy Stadium in Week 3 against the Steelers, who will be entering a new era in 2022 with either Mitchell Trubisky or Kenny Pickett as their new quarterback. The matchup is the first of two primetime games for the Browns, who won't face the Steelers again until the regular season finale in Week 18.
The Browns have been especially strong on the Thursday night stage at home. They're 7-2 all-time at home on TNF and have won each of their last six TNF home games. A win here would give the Browns a 1-0 start against divisional opponents.
The Browns' 2022 regular-season schedule has been released. Check out how the season unfolds with this photo gallery
Week 8 | vs. Cincinnati Bengals | 8:15 p.m. (Monday Night Football)
The Browns' first matchup against the reigning AFC champions will also take place on a primetime stage on Halloween in Cleveland, and it's almost a guarantee to be one of their biggest games of the year.
Bengals QB Joe Burrow has yet to beat the Browns in three career starts, although Cincinnati has upgraded its offensive line this offseason and could boast an even better offense one year after a Super Bowl appearance. A win in this game would also send the Browns into their Week 9 bye week on a great note and inject confidence heading into the second half of the season.
Week 11 | @ Buffalo Bills | 1 p.m.
A trip to Buffalo begins what will likely be the toughest two-game stretch of the Browns' season. It's the first time the Browns have played the Bills since a home win in 2019, and the Bills have quickly morphed into one of the top teams in the league since.
Several intriguing matchups could be present here — Myles Garrett vs. Josh Allen; Deshaun Watson vs. Von Miller; Denzel Ward vs. Stefon Diggs; Tre'Davious White vs. Amari Cooper. It's the kind of heavyweight battle that offers a chance for the Browns to deliver a statement win and start a late-season playoff push.
Week 12 | vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers | 1 p.m.
One week after facing one of the most talented teams in the AFC, the Browns will play one of the top teams in the NFC and welcome Tom Brady to Cleveland.
Brady is 2-1 in his career in Cleveland. His last trip to FirstEnergy Stadium was in 2016, when he returned from his "Deflategate" suspension in Week 5 and led the Patriots to a 33-13 win. The Browns last beat Brady in Cleveland in Week 9 of 2010 with a 34-14 victory, propelled by 186 rushing yards and two touchdowns from RB Peyton Hillis.
This time, Brady — who was retired for 40 days this offseason before unretiring on March 13 — will be in his third season with the Buccaneers. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will be one of the top receiving duos the Browns face all season, and TE Rob Gronkowski could be in the mix, too, if he ends his free agency and returns to the Bucs.
Week 15 | vs. Baltimore Ravens | TBD
The league tagged this game as a possible Saturday flex option, so it could be moved into a primetime slot if both teams are in the thick of a race atop the AFC North.
If the game is indeed flexed, it would be the Browns' third home primetime matchup against a divisional rival. But the game is always big when the Ravens are the opponent, particularly when it's in the final leg of the season. Baltimore is the second of three divisional rivals Cleveland plays in its final five contests, so this game will almost certainly carry huge playoff implications.