CLEVELAND — It's an underrated day in the NFL calendar: the day the league releases the full schedule for the upcoming season.
The 2021 slate was fully unveiled Wednesday, and for the first time ever, the Browns and the rest of the teams will all play a 17-game schedule.
We already knew the Browns' 2021 schedule will begin in the very place that their last season ended: against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET on Sept. 12 in what will be one of the most highly anticipated games of the upcoming regular season.
Still, there are 16 other contests scheduled, and as expected, the Browns had several in prime time. In the player below, watch as "Voice of the Browns" Jim Donovan joins 3News' Ben Axelrod and Dave "Dino" DeNatale to discuss the game times and even make some predictions!
The Browns, of course, are no strangers to Kansas City, having lost to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in last season's AFC divisional round by a score of 22-17. Cleveland had trailed Kansas City by a score of 19-3 before mounting a second-half comeback that ultimately fell short after Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes exited the game due to a concussion.
Kansas City went on to beat the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game before falling to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55.
Despite likely opening 2021 as an underdog, Cleveland will enter the upcoming season with no shortage of expectations. After posting their best regular-season record since returning to the league in 1999 at 11-5, the Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round to earn their first playoff victory since the 1994 season.
The NFL's reigning Coach of the Year, Kevin Stefanski, returns for his second season in Cleveland, as does an offense featuring quarterback Baker Mayfield, running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry and one of the league's best offensive lines. The Browns have also spent the bulk of their season bolstering their defense, adding free agent signings such as defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and safety John Johnson III, as well as cornerback Greg Newsome II and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah via the draft, to a core that already included All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett and cornerback Denzel Ward.
The remainder of the 2021 NFL schedule is set to be released on Wednesday night.