Cleveland Browns: 5 toughest road games of 2016
4. Week 1: Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles finished 7-9 in 2015, drafted a quarterback in the first round, and were one of several teams who replaced their head coach in the offseason. Their 3-5 2015 home record does not make Lincoln Financial Field appear overly menacing. So why does the Eagles game appear in the top five most difficult road games of 2016?
Week 1’s game in Philadelphia seems like a legitimate opportunity for the Browns to win, if it wasn’t a season opener. After all, the Browns broke an NFL record for most consecutive opening day losses in 2014, and are currently holding on to this record, with 11 consecutive Week 1 defeats.
It may seem like superstition or a silly way of analyzing a football game, but this lingering epidemic of opening day losses is truly a factor in this season’s game. This game isn’t so much about the matchup at hand, though it may be captivating in certain ways. The Browns will undoubtedly be excited for this game, although this unrelenting aspect of it will be at the forefront of conversation surrounding the game once again. It will be a challenge for the Browns to be prepared and overcome such a unique challenge, one that may be mostly mental.
If the 2016 Cleveland Browns truly believe they have overcome the history most often associated with the franchise, an effective way to convince holdout fans of this is to win their opening game. Emotions will be through the roof for all involved in this opening week matchup, and under a new regime, this Browns team will need to overcome a lot to emerge victorious in their opening game. This alone makes Week 1 in Philadelphia one of the most cumbersome battles the Browns will participate in this season.
Next: Week 7