2019 Offseason Opponent Breakdown: Cleveland Browns

In anticipation of the official schedule release date in mid-April, theRams.com will be taking an early look at each of the club's opponents for next season.

Cleveland Browns

The Rams will head to Northeast Ohio for superstar-studded date with the Cleveland Browns as the AFC North's perennial basement dweller continues its rise to relevance on the shores of Lake Erie.

Here's an early look at the Browns:

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2018

The Browns flirted with what would have been a winning season for just the third time since 1999 with rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield at the helm for 13 starts and a mid-season coaching change in 2018.

The Browns finished their roller coaster of season in the No. 3 spot in the AFC North, but were not mathematically eliminated from the postseason until the month of December. The season's first half featured four overtime games and a tie for the Browns, as well as the club's first win since Week 16 of the 2016 season.

The Browns' 2018 steadied some, following the nod to give Mayfield the starting job Week 3, and the franchise's decision to part ways with head coach Hue Jackson following Week 8's loss, despite the fact that Jackson upheld his promise to fans and jumped into a lake after going 0-16 in 2017. The Browns went 5-3 under interim head coach Gregg Williams. Mayfield finished his rookie campaign 6-7 with 3,725 yards passing and 27 touchdowns.

Matchup History

The Rams will meet the Browns for the first time since the 2015 season when they make the trip to Cleveland in 2019. Then-rookie running back Todd Gurley picked up 163 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in 2015's Week 7 win over the Browns, in just his third-career start.

The Rams lead the all-time series 12-11.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

The Browns put an exclamation point on their encouraging 2018 with a "winning" offseason, according to the several members of the NFL media landscape.

Hope shines on the Browns' hungry fanbase following the club's moves to land the city's biggest sports star since now-Laker Lebron James, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to play alongside his former college teammate and fellow wideout Jarvis Landry.

OBJ and defensive lineman Olivier Vernon were acquired in trades with the Giants, which sent starting safety Jabril Peppers, as well as offensive linemen Kevin Zeitler to New York. The Browns most-recently traded starting defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah to the Chiefs for safety Eric Murray.

The Browns also added former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, who will serve an eight-week suspension in 2019. 

Head Coach

The Browns hired Fred Kitchens to his first NFL head coaching job just after season's end. Kitchens was named running backs coach/associate head coach in January of 2018, before being promoted to offensive coordinator in October. The Browns went 5-3 with Kitchens calling plays on offense.

Cleveland's newest head coach has 13 years of NFL experience. Kitchens most recently spent 11 years coaching running backs, quarterbacks, and tight ends in Arizona.

What to Watch For

With rosters fit for primetime, the Rams and Browns matchup should feature two of the league's most explosive offenses. Offensive minds McVay and Kitchens will roll out their respective young quarterbacks and array of serious pass-catching options in Beckham, Landry, and wide receivers Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp. OBJ, Cooks, and Woods each went for at least 1,00 yards receiving in 2018.

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