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Early storylines to watch for each Browns game next season

By Nate Ulrich Published: April 23, 2014

The NFL released the 2014 regular-season schedules of all 32 teams tonight. Click here for our story about the Browns' schedule and check out our list of early storylines to watch below.

Week 1: Sun., Sept. 7, at Pittsburgh Steelers, CBS, 1 p.m.

Early storyline: Mike Pettine will make his regular-season debut as an NFL head coach against the team that has tortured the Browns like no other since 1999. Including one postseason game, the Steelers are 26-5 against the Browns during the expansion era.

Week 2: Sun., Sept. 14, New Orleans Saints, FOX, 1 p.m.

Early storyline: Pettine rode the coattails of New York Jets coach Rex Ryan when they were defensive assistants for the Baltimore Ravens. Ryan’s twin brother, Rob Ryan, served as the Browns’ defensive coordinator from 2009-10, and he’ll return to Cleveland in the same capacity with the Saints.

Week 3: Sun., Sept. 21, Baltimore Ravens, CBS, 1 p.m.

Early storyline: Pettine began his NFL coaching career in Baltimore and spent seven years (2002-08) with the Ravens.

Week 4: Sun., Sept. 28, BYE WEEK

Early storyline: Will the early bye hurt the Browns? For what it's worth, three out of four teams that had the Week 4 bye in 2013 made the postseason.

Week 5: Sun., Oct. 5, at Tennessee Titans, CBS, 1 p.m.

Early storyline: Titans defensive coordinator Ray Horton was the Browns’ defensive coordinator last season, and Browns quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains spent eight years (2006-13) with the Titans, serving as the offensive coordinator last season and during the final five games in 2012.

Week 6: Sun., Oct. 12, Pittsburgh Steelers, CBS, 1 p.m.

Early storyline: This will be the third AFC North showdown the Browns will endure in their first five games. They’re 18-54 in the division since it was formed in 2002.

Week 7: Sun., Oct. 19, at Jacksonville Jaguars, CBS, 1 p.m.

Early storyline: Pro Bowl center Alex Mack might be asked a question or two before this game. After receiving a transition tag from the Browns in March, he signed an offer sheet with the Jaguars on April 11. The Browns, though, quickly matched the five-year, $42 million deal to retain Mack.

Week 8: Sun., Oct. 26, Oakland Raiders, CBS, 4:25 p.m.

Early storyline: Assuming neither team trades its first-round draft pick on May 8, the Browns' No. 4 overall selection will face the Raiders' No. 5 overall choice. This could be really intriguing if both are quarterbacks. The same logic applies to Browns at Jaguars, who have the No. 3 overall pick.

Week 9: Sun., Nov. 2, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, FOX, 1 p.m.

Early storyline: The two teams swapped a bunch of coaches. Defensive line coach Joe Cullen (2013), tight ends coach Jon Embree (2013) and offensive line coach George Warhop (2009-13) were on the Browns’ coaching staff last year but are now with the Bucs. Tight ends coach Brian Angelichio (2012-13) and secondary coach Jeff Hafley (2012-13) were with the Bucs last season but are now with the Browns.

Week 10: Thurs., Nov. 6, at Cincinnati Bengals, NFLN, 8:25 p.m.

Early storyline: This chapter of the Battle of Ohio is the Browns’ only scheduled prime-time game of 2014. They’re 4-6 in Thursday night games and 21-29 in prime-time games.

Week 11: Sun., Nov. 16, Houston Texans, CBS, 1 p.m.

Early storyline: New Browns running back Ben Tate was drafted by the Texans in the second round in 2010 but has spent his entire career behind three-time Pro Bowler Arian Foster. Also, former Browns coach Romeo Crennel is the Texans’ new defensive coordinator.

Week 12: Sun., Nov. 23, at Atlanta Falcons, CBS, 1 p.m.

Early storyline: The Browns could’ve drafted Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones sixth overall in 2011, but they traded down, maneuvered some more and eventually picked nose tackle Phil Taylor at No. 21. Will Jones haunt the Browns?

Week 13: Sun., Nov. 30, at Buffalo Bills, CBS, 1 p.m.

Early storyline: Pettine faces his former team. He spent the 2013 season as the Bills’ defensive coordinator and recruited several of their assistant coaches, including new Browns defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil, after he was hired in Cleveland.

Week 14: Sun., Dec. 7, Indianapolis Colts, CBS, 1 p.m.

Early storyline: It’ll be another big reunion. Former Browns coach Rob Chudzinski, the Colts’ special assistant to the head coach, running back Trent Richardson and inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson will return to Cleveland.

Week 15: Sun., Dec. 14, Cincinnati Bengals, CBS, 1 p.m.

Early storyline: Slot receiver Andrew Hawkins and fullback Chris Pressley are former Bengals who signed with the Browns this offseason. Backup quarterback Jason Campbell joined the Bengals this year after the Browns cut him in March.

Week 16: Sun., Dec. 21, at Carolina, CBS, 1 p.m.

Early storyline: For the third consecutive year, the Browns will end the regular season with two road games. The Browns also will play four of their last six games on the road.

Week 17: Sun., Dec. 28, at Baltimore Ravens, CBS, 1 p.m.

Early storyline: By this time, the Browns will know for sure whether ex-CEO Joe Banner goofed by signing former Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger to a five-year, $40 million contract in 2013. Also, the last time the Browns opened and closed the regular season on the road was in 1995.

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