The Cleveland Browns don't have to be great to have a good start to their first season under Mike Pettine. They just have to be better than the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After closing the season against Pittsburgh in 2012 and 2013, the Browns will open the season in Pittsburgh on Sept. 7. After a very early bye week on Sept. 28, the Browns will hook up with the Steelers again on Oct. 12 at FirstEnergy Stadium.
On paper, the middle of the schedule looks soft (Jaguars, Raiders, Bucs, Texans, Falcons), and the December schedule seems brutal (Colts, Bengals, Panthers, Ravens).
However, you never know how teams will change from year to year. Last season, the Chiefs looked like an easy mark, but they won their first nine games. Houston and Atlanta were supposed to be Super Bowl contenders, but they ended up among the worst teams in the league.
You never know until the real games begin in September.
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