With training camp underway and the preseason fast approaching, Last Word on Pro Football is analyzing the schedules of all 32 NFL teams. Each team’s schedule will be split into the least difficult (9-16) and most difficult (1-8) games. We’ve already taken a look at the harder games on the Cleveland Browns schedule, so up next are the “easier” ones. On any given Sunday, anything can happen, but there are some teams that are worse on paper than others. This list will be in order of least difficult to most difficult (although the Browns should win all of these).
Cleveland Browns Easiest Games of 2019
9. Week One – vs. Tennessee Titans
The Browns haven’t won their home opener since 2004, but will have a chance to end that streak against the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee will be without star left tackle Taylor Lewan for this game, which bodes well for Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon. First round pick Jeffrey Simmons also won’t be ready, but the Titans are still a solid team that was a win away from making the playoffs last season. Cleveland will be under plenty of pressure to set the tone for their 2019 season right away with a win over a quality team.
10. Week Ten – vs. Buffalo Bills
Quarterback Josh Allen is the key for the Buffalo Bills, and could end up making this an easy victory or a hard-fought battle for the Browns. Outside of their erratic flamethrower, Buffalo has a very solid team. John Brown and Cole Beasley were brought in to solidify the wide receiver corps, and Ty Nsekhe, Mitch Morse, and Cody Ford are all upgrades on the o-line. The defense has been consistently one of the better units in football over the last few seasons, even without star power. The Bills were able to add Trent Murphy and rookie Ed Oliver, who will make them even better. Buffalo is also trying to return to the playoffs, and this game will be one to watch, as it could sway either team’s season one way or the other.
11. Week Two – at New York Jets
In Week Three last season, it looked like the New York Jets were going to get themselves a win against Cleveland, but then they become the unfortunate victims of Baker Mayfield‘s NFL debut. New York had an interesting offseason, adding veterans Kelechi Osemele and Ryan Kalil to their offensive line, Le’Veon Bell to their backfield, and C.J. Mosley to their defense, as well as drafting Quinnen Williams. The interior defensive line will be the biggest challenge for Cleveland to overcome, and this game has all the makings of a fantastic Monday night showdown.
12. Week Nine – at Denver Broncos
These two teams met for a fantastic primetime game in 2018, and their next matchup should be just as good. Improvements to the offensive line and secondary, plus the additions of rookie tight end Noah Fant and veteran quarterback Joe Flacco (with whom the Browns are intimately familiar) could put the Denver Broncos into the Wild Card conversation, meaning this midseason bout could have big playoff implications for both teams.
13. Week 17 – at Cincinnati Bengals
The only reason this game is not lower on this list is because it will be played in Cincinnati. As bad as the Cincinnati Bengals were last year and are projected to be this year, they’re still a divisional foe. Cleveland cannot afford to overlook them.
14. Week 15 – at Arizona Cardinals
With rookie quarterback Kyler Murray at the helm, the Arizona Cardinals could improve very quickly. But until further notice, they’re still the team that finished with the worst record in football last season. The Cardinals were able to add some great talent through the draft after selecting Murray, and it’s up to rookie coach Kliff Kingsbury to figure out how to get it all to gel together in his air raid offense. If it works, the NFL could see significant changes to offensive schemes in the coming years. If it doesn’t, Arizona will get another top draft pick.
15. Week 14 – vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Another projected bottom-dweller, the offseason has not gone well for Cincy in the slightest. Star receiver A.J. Green is out for 6-8 weeks with an ankle injury. The team’s second-round pick, tight end Drew Sample, is currently a fourth-stringer. Starting guard Clint Boling abruptly retired, and first-round pick left tackle Jonah Williams will likely miss the entire season due to a shoulder injury. The Bengals offensive line was already going to be bad, even with those two. Andy Dalton is in for another rough year, as is rookie head coach Zac Taylor.
16. Week 12 – vs. Miami Dolphins
Whether Ryan Fitzpatrick or Josh Rosen starts at quarterback, the Miami Dolphins are going to struggle mightily in 2019. Outside of left tackle Laremy Tunsil the offensive line is unproven, and the receiving corps consists of secondary weapons without a true #1. The defense has some talent, but ranked 29th in the league in yards given up last season. There’s a reason why Miami is a popular pick to finish with the first overall pick.
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