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Browns: Most Likely Primetime Opponents

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For the first time in years, the Browns may end up landing multiple primetime spots. Who would they most likely suit up against?

With a tremendous amount of buzz and intrigue swirling around the Cleveland Browns currently, the NFL seems poised to give some primetime slots to the guys in Brown & Orange this season. The league office won’t be releasing the full team schedules to the public until around mid-April, which leaves plenty of time to speculate until then.

With that being said, which Browns opponents would create the most intrigue for national television in 2019?

Browns at Patriots: 

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The NFL has already announced that the Patriots will have their Super Bowl LIII banner unveiling at home on Sunday night in week one. With the Browns scheduled to visit Foxborough at some point in 2019, a primetime matchup during the first week of football would likely draw a large viewing audience.

This matchup pits the young versus the old. One of the most well-run organizations in the NFL taking on a historically inept franchise that currently has one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. This would be a matchup that is hard for the schedule makers to ignore, especially in the first week.

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Browns vs. Rams: 

The Rams, the NFC representative in the super bowl one season ago, will travel east to Cleveland next year where a primetime slot may be in order.

Both teams boast stars on either side of the ball, which includes Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr., and Myles Garrett for Cleveland, and Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and Aaron Donald for Los Angeles. Similar to last year’s Monday night matchup between the Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs, this game will be a meeting of two potential offensive juggernauts. A national audience would eat this matchup up.

Browns at Jets: 

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These two teams met last season in a week-three Thursday night game, which saw the Browns win their first game in 17 tries. Second-year quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Mayfield would be the main draw for this matchup, but both squads also seriously upgraded the talent on their teams as well.

The Browns will roll out newly acquired stars Beckham Jr. and Kareem Hunt, while the Jets will counter with Le’veon Bell and C.J. Mosley.

Another reason to include this matchup on the list of possible primetime games is because of the history between the teams. The NFL will be celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the inception of the league this season and the Browns and Jets played in the league’s inaugural Monday night football game in 1970.

When you factor in the history involved plus the storylines on the field, this game can become a must-watch for fans.

Browns vs. Steelers/Ravens: 

There shouldn’t be much debate here as there is bad blood present between the Browns and each of these rivals.

Pittsburgh has long been Cleveland’s “big brother” and have dominated nearly every matchup of the 21st century. Will that narrative change this season? All signs certainly point towards a yes due to the departure of Antonio Brown and Bell and the recent upswing of the Browns. A Steelers versus Browns primetime game could serve as a changing of the guards in the AFC North.

Similar to the situation with Pittsburgh, these two teams and fanbases strongly dislike each other. The Ravens have also controlled almost every matchup between the two squads in recent memory which would make this game even more interesting.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh recently had high praise for the Browns, saying, “They’re the most talented team in the division. There’s no question about that right now. And we’ll see what that means, you know? I know this. That’s right now. The best team in the division is the team that’s going to win the division. So we’ll see what the best team is.”

All eyes would be on Mayfield and Lamar Jackson as many expect those two to be battling for the division title every year for the foreseeable future.

Browns at 49ers: 

With fan-favorite Jimmy Garoppolo behind center for San Francisco to start last season, the 49ers were given two Monday night games. Unfortunatley for Garoppolo, he was never able to suit up for those primetime games because he tore his ACL during a week three game against the Chiefs.

When you factor in a comeback season for San Francisco’s signal-caller and you add in one of the hottest young quarterbacks in the league in Mayfield, this could be a game football fans drool over.

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