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Analyzing the Browns' 2016 NFL Schedule

A historical look at the Browns' 2016 schedule, which looks slightly like the team's 2008 slate.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Earlier Thursday evening, the NFL released the schedule for each team at 8 p.m. Check out the Browns' full schedule here.

Regardless of the schedule, the Browns will likely be awful in 2016. No type of help from the NFL could aid the Browns much. However, the league did set up some interesting storylines for the Browns in 2016.

Also, the schedule does bear a bit of resemblance, in terms of opponents and times, to the 2008 schedule.

Here are some interesting facts about the team's schedule.

– On the road again

The Eagles will host the Browns in week one on September 11, marking the third straight season the Browns will start off on the road. The Browns played the Jets in New York to start off last season and kicked off the 2014 campaign with a road game at the Steelers.

The Browns did start off the season against the Eagles back in 2012. Philly won, 17-16, thanks to a late touchdown connection from Michael Vick to Clay Harbor.

Fun fact: The Browns have begun the season on the road just three times previously since 1999. The Browns have an atrocious 1-15 record in season openers.

– Beat the Birds

If there's one positive, it's this: History is on the Browns' side for the home opener. The last time the Browns hosted the Ravens for the home opener, the Browns won, 20-3. It's the team's only opening win since 1999.

If you don't remember that 2004 matchup, Jeff Garcia threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Quincy Morgan with 24 seconds left in the third quarter to give the Browns a 10-3 lead. Garcia also added a 3-yard rushing score late in the fourth to seal the win.

– Welcome to Miami

The Browns will make the trip to Miami for the first time since 2010. The Browns and Dolphins have played in South Beach just twice in the expansion era. The Browns won the matchup in 2010, 13-10, but lost the other showdown in 2004, 10-7. I wonder if the low-scoring trend will continue.

Another interesting note about this matchup: The last three matchups have all come in September. The Browns hosted the Dolphins on September 8, 2013 and visited South Florida on September 25, 2011.

Perhaps the NFL doesn't want to give the Browns' beat writers a free vacation to Florida in December.

– Hello, old friends

Robert Griffin III faces his old team for the first time on October 2. Interestingly enough, Griffin never played against the Browns  in the regular season during his four years with Washington. The last meeting between the Browns and Redskins came on December 16, 2012, Griffin's rookie season.

Many Browns fans remember that game well. Cousins threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns, leading Washington to a 38-21 win over the Browns. Cousins' performance set off explosions in the Cleveland media as pundits called for the club to trade for the former Spartan.

Oh, the memories.

– Let's do that again

The New England Patriots come to town on October 9 for the first time since 2010. Remember the last time the Pats came to Cleveland?

'Twas an unforgettable day. After starting off the year 1-5, the Browns beat the Saints then played host to the Pats. On a fun afternoon, nearly everything went the Browns' way. Eric Mangini demolished his former team, 34-10, as Peyton Hillis roared for 184 yards and two touchdowns.

On the opposite side of the field, the Browns held Tom Brady to a pedestrian 19-of-36 for 224 yards. Meanwhile, Colt McCoy threw for 174 yards and scored a rushing touchdown.

Can that happen again, please?

– Let's do that again, Part II

While we're on a historical roll, do you recall the last time the Browns and Titans played in Tennessee? Now, THAT was a crazy day.

Entering halftime trailing 28-10 against the Titans on Sunday, October 5, 2014, the Browns came back from the dead to win, 29-28. Quarterback Brian Hoyer threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns in a thrilling game, leading the largest come-from-behind road win in NFL history. The win evened the Browns out to 2-2 and the club won five of its next seven.

We'll just skip what happened after that.

– An ugly Battle for Ohio

Looking back into the past, the Browns and Bengals have met 85 times, an impressive figure. Since 1999, the series has started in Cincinnati seven times, including the past two seasons.

In such seasons, the Browns have a 5-9 record against the Bengals. The Browns have won the opening showdown just once in those seven seasons.

– America's Team doesn't mess around

The Browns don't have great luck against America's team, the Dallas Cowboys. The two teams have met three times in the expansion era. The result? Three losses.

The Cowboys always seem to find a way to humiliate the Browns. The last meeting in 2012 ended in a 23-20 Dallas overtime win after the Browns blew a 13-0 halftime lead and a 20-17 advantage with one minute left. Dallas destroyed Cleveland, 28-10, to start off the 2008 season, sending the Browns spiraling to a 4-12 record just one year after a 10-6 campaign.

And who could forget the 2004 game? The Browns lost 19-12, but the memorable moment occurred when the team's highly touted rookie suffered a season-ending right fibula injury on an onside kick. Can you name that player?

Yes, that would be Kellen Winslow.

– A poor sense of humor

The Browns' only primetime game of 2016 comes on November 10. On Thursday Night Football on NFL Network. Against the Baltimore Ravens.

Remember the last time that happened? I'm not even going down that road, but someone in the NFL offices has a twisted sense of humor.

– Browns Stay-cation

One perk about the Browns' 2016 slate is the long stretch without a road game. The Browns will play at home during weeks 11, 12, and 14, with a bye sandwiched in week 13.

The club will go a full month without a road game, which isn't too shabby.

Speaking of, the Browns don't have to travel far this season. After going down to Miami early in the year, the longest road trip is a 522-mile trek to Tennessee to face the Titans during Week 6. The contest marks the Browns' only foray outside of the Eastern Standard Time Zone.

– Long time, no see

The New York Giants will visit Lake Erie for the first time since 2008. The Giants likely aren't excited to come back, as the Browns took the Giants to the cleaners the last time the squads showed down in Cleveland. The Browns won 35-10, as Derek Anderson outdueled Eli Manning, throwing for 310 yards and two touchdowns, against Manning's 196 yards and three interceptions.

The two squads last met in 2012. The Giants took revenge for the previous loss with a big 41-27 victory in New York on October 7.

– A chilling end

All four of the Browns' December / January games will be played in a cold-weather climate. The Browns host the Bengals on December 11, play at Buffalo on December 18, host the Chargers on December 24, and head to Pittsburgh on January 1.

The 2013 season marked the first and last time in the expansion era the Browns played all of their December and January contests north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Hopefully the Browns select a quarterback who can play well in the cold.