The Cleveland Browns 2012 schedule is officially out, after weeks of speculation and furtive NFL measures to keep it under lock-and-key. Some details had trickled out prior to the official release show on NFL Network, but Rich Eisen and company confirmed the full schedule on what has become an unofficial NFL offseason holiday. Last year, the Browns played every single home game on Sundays at 1:00 p.m. ET, and that is once again the case for 2012. Also like last year, the Browns will play in primetime against an AFC North rival, facing the Baltimore Ravens on NFL Network's Thursday night game in Week 4.
For the 13th time in since returning 14 years ago in 1999, the Browns will open at home. They will host the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1. The Browns are still undecided on which direction their headed in next week's NFL Draft, but we're already pretty sure who will go ahead of their No. 4 pick. Cleveland will face the top two picks in the 2012 Season, with likely No. 2 pick Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins coming to Cleveland Browns Stadium in Week 15 and the Browns visiting likely No. 1 pick Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7.
The complete 2012 schedule below:
Week 1 - Sunday, September 9 - Browns vs. Philadelphia Eagles - 1:00 p.m. ET - FOX
Week 2 - Sunday, September 16 - Browns at Cincinnati Bengals - 1:00 p.m. ET - CBS
Week 3 - Sunday, September 23 - Browns vs. Buffalo Bills - 1:00 p.m. ET - CBS
Week 4 - Thursday, September 27 - Browns at Baltimore Ravens - 8:20 p.m. ET - NFL Network
Week 5 - Sunday, October 7 - Browns at New York Giants - 1:00 p.m. ET - CBS
Week 6 - Sunday, October 14 - Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals - 1:00 p.m. ET - CBS
Week 7 - Sunday, October 21 - Browns at Indianapolis Colts - 1:00 p.m. ET - CBS
Week 8 - Sunday, October 28 - Browns vs. San Diego Chargers - 1:00 p.m. ET - CBS
Week 9 - Sunday, November 4 - Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens - 1:00 p.m. ET - CBS
Week 10 - BYE
Week 11 - Sunday, November 18 - Browns at Dallas Cowboys - 1:00 p.m. ET - CBS
Week 12 - Sunday, November 25 - Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers - 1:00 p.m. ET - CBS
Week 13 - Sunday, December 2 - Browns at Oakland Raiders - 4:15 p.m. ET - CBS
Week 14 - Sunday, December 9 - Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs - 1:00 p.m. ET - CBS
Week 15 - Sunday, December 16 - Browns vs. Washington Redskins - 1:00 p.m. ET - FOX
Week 16 - Sunday, December 23 - Browns at Denver Broncos - 4:05 p.m. ET - CBS
Week 17 - Sunday, December 30 - Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers - 1:00 p.m. ET - CBS
While we now have official times and dates for each game, we already knew the opponents before the official release. It will be the third-toughest schedule in the league, and the hardest among teams who did not make the playoffs in 2011. Much of that stems from the fact that all three of their AFC North rivals made the playoffs with winning records, but the NFC East will provide three marquee matchups as well.