Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2018 Bucs' Opponent in Question: Cleveland Browns

Week 7 against the Cleveland Browns will mark the Buccaneers’ only home game in the month of October. Here are a few things to know about the Browns before then.

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CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 2: Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy #93 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 2, 2014, in Cleveland, Ohio. The Buccaneers lost 22-16. (photo by Mike Carlson/Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

How'd they do in 2017?

About that… the Browns didn't win a game during the 2017 season. There's not really much else to say about the year other than that.

The good news for Cleveland is that they had seemingly one of the best drafts on paper of any team. They possessed two of the top five picks and took quarterback Baker Mayfield first overall and followed it up with cornerback Denzel Ward out of Ohio State with their fourth pick. Add in the fact they acquired wide receiver Jarvis Landry this offseason along with running back Carlos Hyde from the 49ers, two players who both made the NFL's Top 100 list for 2018, they managed to majorly rese their roster. They also have Tyrod Taylor to hold them over at quarterback until Mayfield is ready to take the reins. The Browns are definitely one of the more intriguing teams going into 2018 and should surely improve – exactly how much remains to be seen.

Anything interesting between the two teams?

The Bucs and Browns haven't met during the regular season since 2014, though they have played in the preseason that last couple of years. Cleveland will be the second of the AFC North teams Tampa Bay will face. The Bucs will play all four teams from the division but will play the Bengals and Ravens on the road.

Cleveland and Tampa Bay have a limited series history as it is, only playing each other nine times since the Bucs entered the league in 1976. The Browns lead the series 6-3 and the Bucs indeed lost their last meeting on November 2, 2014 in Cleveland. Both touchdowns scored in the game for the Bucs came at the hands of Mike Evans as the receiver was in his rookie year. Tampa Bay held a 17-16 going into the fourth quarter but Browns' quarterback Brian Hoyer hit Taylor Gabriel for a 34-yard touchdown to put Cleveland up in the fourth for good.

Both teams are currently fighting to get back to the playoffs. Cleveland owns the longest drought in the NFL, not appearing in the postseason since 2002.

What about off the field?

Despite Cleveland's struggles on the field as of late, the area, more specifically Canton, Ohio, is hallowed football ground. The town fifty miles outside of Cleveland is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is considered the center of the NFL world. Inside, you'll find bronze busts of each Hall of Fame enshrinee, an exhibit that recaps every Super Bowl played in the history of the league, an interactive trivia game and other significant artifacts from the NFL's long-storied legacy.

So… what if I want to go?

The matchup against the Browns will mark the only October home game the Bucs will host in 2018. It will be just the third time Cleveland will make the 1.095 mile trip to Raymond James Stadium ever.

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