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Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Browns schedule analysis

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Breakdown: The Cleveland Browns have been granted an astonishing 11 straight Week 1 home openers, the longest streak in the NFL.

Cleveland has blown most of these opportunities as the team is 1-9 in home openers since 1999. This year's Week 1 opponent wasn't an easy draw, either. The Browns will play host to the Minnesota Vikings to open the season.

It will be important for new coach Eric Mangini to get off to a fast start. Many fans in Cleveland are already disgruntled from the past and skeptical of new leadership.

Complaint department: Speaking of fast starts, it doesn't look promising for Cleveland. The Browns open against the Vikings, then travel to play the Denver Broncos in Week 2 and at the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3. That is a brutal stretch to open the season. If the Browns do not win their home opener against Minnesota, an 0-3 start could be on the horizon.

Losing streak: Is this the year the Browns finally beat the rival Pittsburgh Steelers? With Cleveland coming off a 4-12 season and Pittsburgh winning its sixth Super Bowl, it doesn't appear likely. The Steelers have beaten the Browns 13 straight times.

Browns Regular-season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 13, MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 1 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 20, at Denver Broncos, 4:15 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 27, at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 4, CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 11, at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 18, at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 25, GREEN BAY PACKERS, 1 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Nov. 1, at  Chicago Bears, 1 p.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 8, BYE
Week 10: Monday, Nov. 16, BALTIMORE RAVENS, 8:30 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 22, at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 29, at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 6, SAN DIEGO CHARGERS, 4:05 p.m.
Week 14: Thursday, Dec. 10, PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 8:20 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 20, at  Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 27, OAKLAND RAIDERS, 1 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 3, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, 1 p.m.