Here at Last Word on Pro Sports, we are analyzing every game for all 32 teams with the most difficult (1-8) covering one article and the easiest (9-16) in a second article. This article features the most difficult games for the Cleveland Browns in 2020.
Cleveland Browns Most Difficult Games in 2020
1. Week 4: at Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys boast one of the NFL’s most underrated yet dangerous receiving trios in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and rookie CeeDee Lamb. They also have a talented back in Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield. The Browns run defense was weak in 2019, so getting a dose of Elliott is never a good thing. Also, the Browns secondary remains suspect, especially with two stopgaps filling in at safety. Lack of solid depth at linebacker and in the defensive backfield spells trouble for the Browns.
2. Week 6: at Pittsburgh Steelers
The 2019 Browns let Devlin Hodges have his way with them in a 20-13 upset at Heinz Field in 2019. Now, Ben Roethlisberger returns after missing 14 games in 2019. Expect Roethlisberger to light up the Browns secondary if they can’t get a pass rush from Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon. The Pittsburgh Steelers also had one of the best defenses in football in 2019, especially in the pass rush. New left tackle Jedrick Wills will have his hands full with T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree coming off the edge.
3. Week 1: at Baltimore Ravens
To the Browns credit, they destroyed the Baltimore Ravens on the road in 2019. But that was before Lamar Jackson came into his own and played an MVP-worthy season. In 2020, the Ravens got better throughout the off-season and had one of the best drafts. This is a stronger version of the 14-2 Ravens from 2019 and while the Tennessee Titans may have given teams a blueprint on how to stop Jackson, the Ravens can be just as effective in the running game with Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins. Especially against a weak run defense that the Browns struggled with in 2019. It doesn’t help that their linebacking unit projects to be among the worst in football.
4. Week 13: at Tennessee Titans
The Titans gave the Browns a harsh reality check in 2019 and it was one they never recovered from. This time they meet in Tennessee with an effective quarterback-running back duo in Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. If the Browns run defense doesn’t improve throughout the 2020 season, they are in trouble. To beat the Titans, they must stop Henry and must pressure Tannehill to keep him from getting hot.
5. Week 17: vs Pittsburgh Steelers
This game may have playoff implications on the line and the Steelers are far more experienced than the Browns are in this category. Something says it won’t be the classic Browns starters trying in vain to beat the Steelers backups this time around. If playoff hopes are on the line, Ben has Baker and Company beaten in the experience category, giving the Steelers a huge edge in this game. Ben has been in this situation throughout his career and it will be uncharted waters for Baker Mayfield. Even if the playoffs aren’t on the line, the Browns have historically struggled against their formidable division rival.
6. Week 14: vs Baltimore Ravens
The Browns played the Ravens well at home for a half in 2019 before the birds outscored the Browns 31-9 for the final 32 minutes. Like the Pittsburgh game in Week 17, this game may also hold playoff implications. Also, like the Steelers, the Ravens have more experience than the Browns in this category. It begins with head coach John Harbaugh, who starts his 13th season in Baltimore versus a rookie in Kevin Stefanski. It will also be a revenge game for Baltimore if they once again fall to the Browns at home in Week 1.
7. Week 11: vs Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles are quietly still among the top teams in the NFC and the Browns will face the same troubles that will plague them against Pittsburgh and Baltimore. A strong passing attack led by one of the best quarterbacks in football, along with a defense that ranked 10th in total yards allowed in 2019. It won’t be an easy task for the Browns offense and to win, Mayfield must limit turnovers.
8. Week 10: vs Houston Texans
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson can make plays with his feet as well as he can his arm. And the Browns are notorious for allowing mounds of rushing yards from quarterbacks and running backs alike. While Watson lost his top target from 2019 in DeAndre Hopkins, he has the talent to make each player around him produce. And don’t forget about the trade for David Johnson, who put together some monster seasons in the past despite his recent lean seasons. If Johnson regains form, the Cleveland Browns will have even more trouble.
Don’t forget to read about the eight easiest games for the 2020 Cleveland Browns.