2022 Cleveland Browns Schedule: Full Listing of Dates, Times and TV Info

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 13, 2022

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
AP Photo/Ron Schwane

The Cleveland Browns look far different heading into the 2022 season than they did before the 2021 campaign.

The Browns entered last season with sky-high expectations following an 11-5 record and appearance in the AFC divisional round in 2020. Baker Mayfield was back, and so were game-changing offensive weapons in Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and David Njoku. Throw in a defense led by Myles Garrett, and the optimism was warranted.

And then the season happened. Cleveland went 8-9 and missed the playoffs while finishing in third place in the AFC North.

It was more of a return to normalcy for a franchise that has enjoyed only one winning season since 2007, but it was defined by drama that ended in Beckham winning a Super Bowl for the Los Angeles Rams and questions about Mayfield's future.

The Browns upended the offense this offseason when they traded for wide receiver Amari Cooper and traded for quarterback Deshaun Watson before agreeing to a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million extension with the latter.

It was a clear on-field improvement to add the three-time Pro Bowler, who led the league in passing yards in 2020, but he could be facing a suspension from the NFL. A grand jury declined to indict him on criminal charges, but Watson is still being sued by 22 women who accuse him of sexual assault and misconduct, and the league could punish him.

A suspension could alter the trajectory of Cleveland's ceiling as it faces the following schedule.

2022 Cleveland Browns Schedule

Cleveland Browns @Browns

OFFICIAL: The schedule is finally here❗️<br><br>📰 » <a href="https://t.co/ahQJWXpxMz">https://t.co/ahQJWXpxMz</a> <a href="https://t.co/By37coDLfB">pic.twitter.com/By37coDLfB</a>


FILE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game Jan. 23, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. While the NFL conference championship games went on without Brady for only the second time in 11 years, the world waits for the greatest quarterback of all-time to make his future plans official. An announcement is expected soon and a person close to Brady on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, told The Associated Press his decision will be based on family priorities, not finances. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio, File)
AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio, File

Cleveland's schedule certainly doesn't look easy at first glance.

The divisional showdowns in the AFC North figure to be challenging with the reigning conference champions in the Cincinnati Bengals plus seemingly annual contenders in the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.

Yet the Browns and the rest of the division at least avoided an entire slate of games against the loaded AFC West. Instead, the AFC North drew the AFC East, which means one imposing contest against the Buffalo Bills and perhaps some winnable ones with the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.

New England is coming off a playoff appearance, but the franchise still isn't where it used to be with Tom Brady under center.

Speaking of Brady, Cleveland will face the all-time great and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as one of its four matchups against the NFC South. The New Orleans Saints also figure to contend in the NFC, although the Browns could be well-positioned to pick up victories against the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons.

Both teams were rumored trade destinations for Watson at one point, but he'll be facing them on the Browns instead.

Outside of the NFC South and AFC East, Cleveland will have a high-profile showdown with the Los Angeles Chargers. While facing only Justin Herbert is better than playing him, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson and Derek Carr in four separate games against the division, the Chargers are a daunting third-place matchup given their overall talent level.

Pivotal Matchups

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 09: Quarterback Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers passes against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Division matchups are always key in the NFL, and the Browns are no exception.

The ones against the Steelers may carry even more weight since the Bengals figure to build upon their Super Bowl appearance from last season. Joe Burrow now has a full year of experience under his belt and a revamped offensive line to go with many of the same weapons.

That could leave Cleveland fighting for a wild-card spot, which is something Pittsburgh did last season as the seventh and final seed in the AFC playoffs.

The Steelers no longer have Ben Roethlisberger under center, and Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett won't be confused for Mahomes or Brady. To make the playoffs, the Browns may have to beat the Steelers in these critical head-to-head games.

Cleveland may also need to hold off the Chargers in the wild-card race. They just missed a wild-card spot last season with a narrow loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in their regular-season finale, and they figure to be a factor once again in 2022, especially after adding Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson to the defense.

If the Browns can defeat the Chargers and Steelers, they could be in an ideal position in the AFC race.