Cleveland sports fans always mark the home opener for the Cleveland Indians as a national holiday every April. Browns fans look forward to a pair of dates in April as national holidays, day one of the NFL Draft and the date the upcoming regular season schedule is released.
The first of those two events takes place tonight at 8:00 p.m. The NFL announced on Wednesday afternoon that the entire 2016 NFL regular season schedule will be released on Thursday evening.
While all teams have known who they will play in 2016, the actual dates and times will be announced tonight.
The Cleveland Browns will face each of their AFC North division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens twice, once at FirstEnergy Stadium and once on the road. The rest of the schedule consists of AFC East, NFC East, the Tennessee Titans and San Diego Chargers.
Along with their division opponents, the Browns will host San Diego, New England, New York Jets, New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns face Buffalo, Miami, Tennessee, Washington and Philadelphia on the road.
Cleveland has opened up on the road the last two seasons, it will be interesting to see if the NFL will have Hue Jackson make his Browns head coaching debut in front of the loyal fans in the ‘Dawg Pound’ or away from FirstEnergy Stadium.
An interesting week one match up could be against the Washington Redskins. It would be a return to the nation’s capitol for new Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III after being selected by the Redskins with the number two overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
RG-3 was named the offensive rookie of the year in 2012 with Washington but injuries slowed his career. Last year, RG-3 didn’t play a snap in the regular season under current Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. The Redskins released RG-3 in March and the Browns signed him to a two year deal worth $15 million dollars.
Another possible opening match up would be against the division rival Cincinnati Bengals either at FirstEnergy Stadium or Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. Jackson spent the last four years as an assistant coach for Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati, the last two as Lewis’ offensive coordinator.
The Browns will have at least one game in prime time in 2016 since all 32 NFL teams will get at least one appearance on either Thursday Night Football on CBS and NFL Network, Sunday Night Football on NBC or Monday Night Football on ESPN.
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