CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns will open their 2014 season on Sept. 7 at rival Pittsburgh, just the second time they’ve started the season on the road since 1999.
Cleveland’s schedule also includes a brutal start and finish.
“Browns at Steelers in Week 1, in your first game as an NFL head coach?” said Browns first-year coach Mike Pettine. “It doesn’t get any better than that. I love this division.”
Cleveland’s first home game under Pettine is scheduled for Sept. 14 against New Orleans, and the Browns will host the Baltimore Ravens the following week before they get a bye (Sept. 28).
Pettine, who served as Buffalo’s defensive coordinator last season, will face the Bills on Nov. 30 in Buffalo.
“Looking at the schedule, we’ve said we want to be the toughest team on the field,” Pettine said. “We’ll get a good taste of our division early on, with three of our first five against the AFC North, which has been for quite some time one of the NFL’s best divisions. We’re building our team to compete in the division, so hopefully we can get off to a good start.
“I look forward to returning to Buffalo in late November. That late-season stretch also jumped out at me a little bit. The NFL’s about overcoming adversity, and we face a big challenge with four of our final six on the road.”
The Browns’ schedule includes a difficult final month as Cleveland will host Indianapolis (Dec. 7) and Cincinnati (Dec. 14) before closing the season with games at Carolina (Dec. 21) and Baltimore (Dec. 28).
The Browns will play just one prime-time game, at Cincinnati on Thursday, Nov. 6.