After not being good enough to play on Sunday Night Football for so long, could the Cleveland Browns end up playing their in Week 1 of the 2019 season? They at least have a shot.
At the NFL meetings this week, it was announced that in celebration of the league’s 100th season, the rivalry between the Packers and the Bears would kick off the season on Thursday Night Football, as opposed to the defending Super Bowl Champions getting that honor. The Patriots will play on Sunday Night Football in Week 1. Their opponent? To be determined.
New England Patriots will raise their championship banner on Sunday Night Football in Week 1 at 8:20 PM ET on Sunday, September 8. Their opponent will be announced when the full 2019 regular-season schedule is released later this spring. https://t.co/grIWKU5WLK— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 25, 2019
That means we are down to 8 teams who could be the Patriots’ opponent in Week 1, including the Browns, who face New England on the road in 2019. The other teams that play in New England this years are the Chiefs, Steelers, Jets, Bills, Dolphins, Giants, and Cowboys.
Now, it’s far from a guarantee that Cleveland would get that slot. As far as teams unlikely to get it, I think you can take the Dolphins and Bills out of the equation. A fun narrative can be written for everyone else. Even the Giants, who tore apart their team, can go with the “two Super Bowls that Eli Manning beat Brady for” storyline.
The Chiefs vs. Patriots would be more of a proven marquee match-up. But what about the Browns? We know the country is invested in them, so we’ll see what the league decides when the schedule comes out in a few weeks. Even if the Browns don’t get the coveted Week 1 slot, they are still expected to be featured in at least four prime time games in 2019.