As we continue to digest the Cleveland Browns 2022 schedule, we try to figure out which games will be the determining factor in how the season will ultimately fare.
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) May 13, 2022
There are a lot of challenging matchups, both at home and on the road.
Based on the 2021 records of their opponents this season, the Browns are tied with the Jets for the 17th most difficult schedule in 2022.
— Alex (@AlexWright_88) May 11, 2022
That may be viewed as good news, but the make or break period is between Weeks 5 and 8.
Check out my TikTok analysis of the Browns’ schedule and why Weeks 5 through 8 will be telling.
1. Weeks 1 Through 4 Are A Warm-Up
We won’t go so far as to say that Weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4 will be easy.
They will not, and on any given Sunday, things happen.
However, opening up against the Carolina Panthers is a bit of a relief compared to the 2020 and 2021 opening day opponents: Baltimore and Kansas City, respectively.
The Jets and Falcons are interesting and winnable which leaves Pittsburgh with a new quarterback which will be unpredictable.
Let’s say the Browns are 3-1 or shall we even venture to predict they will be undefeated at 4-0 going into Week 5?
2. Weeks 5 And 6 Opponents Resulted In Tough 2021 Losses
Preparing for back-to-back matchups against the Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots will be a difficult stretch.
These games are at FirstEnergy Stadium this year which is good news as those two away losses were the result of the Browns giving up over 90 points in 2021.
Better defensive play and the home crowd should help, but the Browns could feasibly go 1-1 or 0-2 during this two-week stretch.
3. Weeks 7 And 8 Are A Crash Course In AFC North Competition
The Browns travel to Baltimore in Week 7.
These games are always very hard-fought.
The Browns broke the more than two-year drought and finally beat the Ravens in 2021 on December 12 though it was a game where there were almost fourth-quarter heroics that resulted in a Ravens win.
That is followed by a Week 8 date with the defending AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals.
While the Browns have owned the Bengals in recent years, it is hard to believe they will continue to dominate in both meetings each season.
This is another period in which the Browns could go 1-1 or 0-2.
In the worst-case scenario, the Browns will be .500 or less going into the Week 9 bye week.
This is before they play Buffalo, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans in the second half of the season.
You could argue that the Browns playing the Ravens and Bengals back-to-back both in Weeks 7 and 8 and Weeks 14 and 15 will be what determines the character of this team.
That is possible because the Browns would like to begin their postseason pursuit as the 2022 AFC North Champions so they must take care of business against Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh.
As is always the case with schedule predictions, we won’t know for months what the key moments and wins or losses of the season turn out to be.