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2011 Browns schedule: Early storylines and some fast facts

By Nate Ulrich Published: April 20, 2011

After the Browns' full schedule was released last night, I posted some early storylines on Twitter with the caveat that none of them is guaranteed to unfold because of the NFL's work stoppage. Here's my complete list of storylines, along with some historical facts:

Preseason


  • Sat. Aug. 13 vs. Green Bay Packers, 7:30 p.m. -- Storyline: Browns coach Pat Shurmur debuts as a head coach against the defending Super Bowl champions.



  • Fri. Aug. 19 vs. Detroit Lions, 7:30 p.m. -- Storyline: New Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron recalls his days as the Lions' interim head coach in 2005.



  • Thurs. Aug. 25 at Philadelphia Eagles, 7:30 p.m. -- Storyline: Shurmur returns to Philly to faces his former mentor, Eagles coach Andy Reid.



  • Thurs. Sept. 1 at Chicago Bears, 8 p.m. -- Storyline: New Browns special-teams coordinator Chris Tabor goes back to his old stomping grounds.


Regular season


  • Week 1Sun. Sept. 11 vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. -- Storyline: Shurmur learns what AFC North rivalries are all about when he's thrust into the "Battle of Ohio" in his regular-season debut. History: The Browns are 36-39 all-time against the Bengals.




  • Week 2Sun. Sept. 18 at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m. -- Storyline: Colts wide receiver Pierre Garcon, a success story out of Division III Mount Union, looks to torch the Browns, who share a backyard with his college. History: The Browns are 9-5 all-time on the road against the Colts. This will be Cleveland’s second trip to Indianapolis since 1999.



  • Week 3Sun. Sept. 25 vs. Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m. -- Storyline: Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll returns to Cleveland Browns Stadium, along with pass-rush coach Bryan Cox. History: The Browns have won the past three meetings, including a 13-10 victory last season. The Browns have also won past two meetings with the Dolphins at Cleveland Browns Stadium.



  • Week 4Sun. Oct. 2 vs. Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. -- Storyline: Former Browns coach Chris Palmer, who's now the Titans' offensive coordinator, comes back to Cleveland. History: This will be Tennessee's first trip to Cleveland since 2005, when the Browns topped the Titans' 20-14 on Nov. 6. The Browns are 33-27 all-time against the Titans.



  • Week 5BYE



  • Week 6Sun. Oct. 16 at Oakland Raiders, 4:05 p.m. -- Storyline: Linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, a former first-round pick of the Browns, hopes to give his old team headaches. History: The Browns have won two of their past three meetings in Oakland. The Browns are 4-1 in their past five games against the Raiders, including a 23-9 triumph in their last meeting on Dec. 27, 2009.



  • Week 7Sun. Oct. 23 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 1 p.m. -- Storyline: Browns President Mike Holmgren is eager to beat his former team. History: The Browns are 2-1 against the Seahawks in their past three meetings at Cleveland Browns Stadium, including a 33-30 overtime victory on Nov. 4, 2007, the last time the teams met.



  • Week 8Sun. Oct. 30 at San Francisco 49ers, 4:15 p.m. -- Storyline: New 49ers special-teams coordinator Brad Seely develops a plan to face his former standout return man, Joshua Cribbs of the Browns. History: This will be the Browns' first trip to San Francisco since 2003, when they won 13-12 on Sept. 21. The Browns have won their past three meetings against the 49ers.



  • Week 9Sun. Nov. 6 at Houston Texans, 1 p.m. -- Storyline: Browns cornerback Joe Haden and Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson engage in a much-anticipated battle. History: This will be the Browns' first trip to Houston since 2006, when the Texans captured a 14-6 win on Dec. 31. The all-time series is tied at 3-3.




  • Week 10Sun. Nov. 13 vs. St. Louis Rams, 1 p.m. -- Storyline: Shurmur welcomes old friends from the Rams, the team for which he served as an offensive coordinator during the past two seasons. History: This will mark the Rams' first trip to Cleveland Browns Stadium since Dec. 8, 2003, when they won 26-20. The Browns are 9-9 all-time against the Rams, including a 5-4 mark at home.



  • Week 11Sun. Nov. 20 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. -- Storyline: The Browns hope to avenge their wacky loss from 2010, when they finished with a plus-five turnover differential in Jacksonville. History: This will be the second consecutive season in which these teams have met during the regular season. The Browns are 4-9 all-time against the Jaguars.



  • Week 12Sun. Nov. 27 at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. -- The Browns begin a brutal stretch that features five division showdowns in their final six games. History: The Browns went 1-1 against the Bengals last season.



  • Week 13Sun. Dec. 4 vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. -- Storyline: Browns quarterback Colt McCoy hopes to rebound against standout safety Ed Reed and the defense that compiled three interceptions against him late last season. History: The Browns are 7-17 all-time against the Ravens and have lost their past six games in the series.



  • Week 14Thu. Dec. 8 at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:20 p.m. -- Storyline: The Browns' fiercest rival tries to spoil their return to prime time. History: The Browns are 56-62, including the postseason, against the Steelers.



  • Week 15Sun. Dec. 18 at Arizona Cardinals, 4:15 p.m. -- Storyline: New Browns linebackers coach Bill Davis returns to Arizona, where he served as the Cardinals' defensive coordinator for the past two seasons before being fired. History: The Browns are 33-12-3 all-time against the Cardinals, including 18-6-1 on the road.




  • Week 16Sat. Dec. 24 at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. -- Storyline: The Browns' three-game road trip ends with their second meeting against the Ravens in the same month. History: The Browns' most recent win against the Ravens was on Nov. 18, 2007.



  • Week 17Sun. Jan. 1 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m. -- Storyline: The Browns remember falling to the Steelers 41-9 in their last game of the 2010 season and hope to avoid another embarrassing regular-season finale. History: The Browns are 4-21 against the Steelers since 1999.

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