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Fantastic finish? Browns scheduled to play four primetime games in final seven weeks

The Browns knew Monday their schedule will begin with a bang, as the Dallas Cowboys visit Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sept. 8.

They learned Wednesday with the complete NFL schedule release that the regular season will finish with a seven-week stretch of rapid-fire marquee matchups, one more tantalizing than the previous.

The Browns are set to play four primetime games — two sets of back-to-backs — starting Nov. 21 with a Thursday night home game against the Steelers. It ends a streak of six straight 1 o’clock starts and is followed by a Monday night game at Denver on Dec. 2.

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The Browns then travel on a short week to play the Steelers on Dec. 8 for the second time in 18 days. Things don’t get any easier, as Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs visit the lakefront Dec. 15. The Chiefs are trying to become the first team to win three straight Super Bowls.

“We’ve competed against them a few times out there in Arrowhead, so looking forward to getting them at our place,” coach Kevin Stefanski said in the news release. “Coach (Andy) Reid does an outstanding job. They have great players. Defending champs. So hosting them is a big deal.”

A quick turnaround follows with a Thursday night game at Cincinnati on Dec. 19. The last of the four primetime games is Sunday, Dec. 29, at home against the Dolphins.

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“Those Thursday night games are really fun for us,” Stefanski said. “You’re the only show in town. It’s a short week. And for us to get two division opponents and those Thursday nights is a great opportunity for us.

“Monday nights are really fun for our players and our fans. Everybody’s waiting patiently for that one on Monday night.”

The regular-season finale will be in Baltimore, with the dates and times of all Week 18 games to be determined. Four of the final seven games are inside the AFC North.

“Those division games are always so important,” Stefanski said. “You always immediately when the schedule comes out find where they are on there. We’ve had years where it was all division early. Now it’s a little bit later when you’re getting into the division games.”

The primetime games against the Broncos, Bengals and Dolphins are subject to being flexed.

The Browns are coming off a season in which they went 11-6 and lost in the wild card round of the playoffs. They’re looking for their first back-to-back postseason appearances since 1988-89.

It won’t be easy.

The Browns will play six teams that made the playoffs last season, including the Ravens and Steelers twice. Cleveland has the league’s toughest strength of schedule based on the 2023 records of their opponents, who had a .547 winning percentage.

“Wouldn’t want it any other way!!!” safety Juan Thornhill posted on X. “To be the best you gotta beat the best right?”

The rugged slate starts with the opener vs. the Cowboys. The game will kick off at 4:25 p.m., be in the national spotlight and mark Tom Brady’s regular-season debut as Fox’s lead analyst.

Dallas’ Dak Prescott is the beginning of an impressive stretch of quarterbacks who will test Cleveland’s defense, which ranked No. 1 against the pass (164.7 yards per game) and overall last season (270.2).

The Browns get a bit of a break over the next four weeks and will need to take advantage with games at Jacksonville, home vs. the Giants, at Las Vegas for the first time in Browns history and at Washington. The Commanders drafted LSU quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels with the No. 2 pick in April.

A stretch of three straight road games, a first for the Browns since 2011, ends in Philadelphia with quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Eagles on Oct. 13. The Browns play nine road games and eight home games in the even years after the addition of the 17th game.

The Browns then return home for three in a row as they start their AFC North slate. Joe Burrow and the Bengals visit Oct. 20, and MVP Lamar Jackson and the Ravens on Oct. 27.

New coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterback Justin Herbert bring the Chargers on Nov. 3. The bye follows in Week 10.

“That’s quite the homestand following three really good road opponents,” Stefanski said. “So it’ll certainly be different for our guys, but something that we’re looking forward to.”

The Browns are 24-10 at home in Stefanski’s four seasons, including going 8-1 last year to set a franchise record for home wins in a season.

The Browns return from the bye with a trip to New Orleans on Nov. 17, then it’s the Steelers and the march to the finish line.

The Browns got a break in travel, as they’re staying in the U.S. in 2024.

They were a candidate to play the Jaguars in London, but the NFL announced Wednesday morning the Jaguars will host the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium in England on Oct. 20. Cleveland will play in Jacksonville instead in Week 2.

The Browns had a second chance to play overseas, but the NFL picked the Packers to play the Eagles in Sao Paulo on Friday, Sept. 6. The Week 1 matchup, which was previously announced, will be the NFL’s first game in South America.

The Browns’ most recent international game was 2017 against the Minnesota Vikings in London.

The Browns will also be home for the holidays.

The NFL will play two games on Christmas, even though it’s on a Wednesday, and the games went to AFC North rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh. The Ravens will visit the Texans, and the Steelers will host the Chiefs.

Both games will be shown exclusively on Netflix.

The Browns also don’t play on Thanksgiving.

They have enough showcase games in November and December.


CLEVELAND BROWNS 2024 SCHEDULE

Date   Opponent    Time  TV

PRESEASON

Aug. 10       Green Bay    4:25 p.m.    WEWS News 5

Aug. 17       Minnesota Vikings 4:25   WEWS News 5

Aug. 24       at Seattle Seahawks (Sat.) 7      WEWS News 5

REGULAR SEASON

Sept. 8         Dallas Cowboys    4:25   FOX

Sept. 15       at Jacksonville Jaguars    1        CBS

Sept. 22       New York Giants   1        FOX

Sept. 29       at Las Vegas Raiders       4:25   CBS

Oct. 6 at Washington Commanders     1        FOX

Oct. 13        at Philadelphia Eagles     1        FOX

Oct. 20        Cincinnati Bengals 1        CBS

Oct. 27        Baltimore Ravens  1        CBS

Nov. 3         Los Angeles Chargers     1        CBS

BYE

Nov. 17       at New Orleans Saints     1        FOX

Nov. 21 (Thur.)     Pittsburgh Steelers 8:15   Prime Video

Dec. 2 (Mon.)       at Denver Broncos 8:15   ESPN*

Dec. 8         at Pittsburgh Steelers       1        CBS

Dec. 15       Kansas City Chiefs          1        CBS

Dec. 19 (Thur.)     at Cincinnati Bengals      8:15   Prime Video*

Dec. 29       Miami Dolphins    8:20   NBC*

TBD  at Baltimore Ravens        TBD  TBD

* — Select primetime games subject to change; Week 18 games TBD

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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