With a Week 5 bye, the Browns will be one of the first teams in the league to hit their mid-season break and will have an early opportunity to recharge as the calendar flips to October.
“We like having the bye week where it is,” Stefanski said. “It’s going to be four really tough games to start, and then we’ll take a breather. Then, we’ll have a great opportunity in front of us with a home game against a very, very good 49ers team, and then we get on the road against some really good teams. That’s the meat of our schedule — being on the road and trying to find a way to win against really good opponents. That’s the competitive aspect of this I think our guys are excited about.”
The Browns will return from the bye to play their first of three games against NFC West opponents this season and welcome the 49ers to Cleveland on Oct. 15. They will then travel for back-to-back weeks for the first time of the season against the Colts (Oct. 22) and Seahawks (Oct. 29), with the latter matchup set to air at 4:05 p.m. on FOX.
The Browns will knock out the second of their two divisional games against the Ravens and Steelers in back-to-back weeks in Weeks 10-11. They’ll head to Baltimore on Nov. 12 and then host the Steelers on Nov. 19.
Then, they’ll head west for two road games to play the Broncos on Nov. 26 and the Rams on Dec. 3 before anchoring at home for the next two weeks when they’ll host the Jaguars and Bears. The date and time for the Week 15 matchup against Chicago has yet to be determined.
A primetime atmosphere will finally return to Cleveland in Week 17, and it’ll be against a crucial AFC opponent. The Browns will host QB Aaron Rodgers and the Jets on Dec. 28 on Thursday Night Football, which will mark their final home game of the season and could be a game with heavy playoff implications in the AFC.
The Browns have been dominant in recent years when playing at home for TNF — they’ve won their past seven home TNF games and are 8-2 all time on that primetime stage….