The Cleveland Browns will get a shot at revenge against the Kansas City Chiefs on the opening weekend of the NFL season and wide receiver Rashard Higgins can’t wait.
The Browns lost to the Chiefs in the AFC Divisional round last year and a controversial fumble from Higgins at the goal line turned the tide of the matchup. Higgins is hungry for redemption, which he demonstrated in an Instagram post following Wednesday’s schedule release.
“Week 1. Still ain’t forgot,” Higgins wrote.
Controversial ‘Dirty Dan’ Hit Still Stings for Browns
The hit that caused Higgins’ fumble was from Chiefs safety Dan Sorensen. The defender — known affectionately as “Dirty Dan” — put his head down and hit Higgins directly in the side of the helmet with the crown of his own. The refs did not throw a flag and the ball rolled out of the end zone, resulting in a touchback.
A touchdown would have made it a 16-10 game before half, but instead swung the momentum in a different direction. Sorensen was not flagged or fined for the hit.
What hurt more was the fact that the Browns nearly won the game, but could not come up with a key stop down the stretch, watching Kansas City hang on to the 22-17 win.
Dirty Dan loves making plays in the playoffs 😏
📺: https://t.co/F3ZHh8BQRq pic.twitter.com/Xmf1LfBlft
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 17, 2021
“I will never ever doubt Rashard Higgins’ effort or our guys’ effort,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said after the game. “Our rule there is not to reach the ball out when it is first and goal, and he knows that. Again, appreciate his effort. He battled like he always does, but we have to fight that urge because it is such a big loss if it does end up being a touchback.”
Browns Have Tough Schedule Next Season
The Browns will play the 9th toughest schedule next season, per ESPN Stats and Information.
Browns have the 9th toughest schedule, per @ESPNStatsInfo
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) May 13, 2021
The Browns’ first 17-game regular-season schedule includes cross-divisional games with the AFC West and NFC North, as well as the traditional matchups against AFC North foes.
“It’s definitely a fun day for our fans,” Stefanski told the Browns official site. “You start to see when we’re playing everybody and hopefully start getting those tickets to some of these road cities so they can be a part of these road games for us. We as coaches certainly pay attention to it and start to map out certain things, whether it be our Week 1 opponent or looking at the schedule in its entirety and figuring out where you’re going to plan practices accordingly.”
Stefanski did not provide any bulletin board material when it came to that Week 1 matchup against the Chiefs.
“Now, I realize that last game, last year ended in Kansas City, so that certainly is something we have to learn from,” the second-year skipper said. “It will truly be a matchup that is unique to 2021. The game won’t start in the fifth quarter from last year’s game.”
Here’s the Browns full schedule for next season, with all times Eastern.
|1||Sept. 12||at Kansas City Chiefs||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|2||Sept. 19||Houston Texans||1 p.m.||CBS|
|3||Sept. 26||Chicago Bears||1 p.m.||FOX|
|4||Oct. 3||at Minnesota Vikings||1 p.m.||CBS|
|5||Oct. 10||at Los Angeles Chargers||4:05 p.m.||CBS|
|6||Oct. 17||Arizona Cardinals||4:05 p.m.||FOX|
|7||Oct. 21 (Thu.)||Denver Broncos||8:20 p.m.||FOX/NFLN/AMZ|
|8||Oct. 31||Pittsburgh Steelers||1 p.m.||CBS|
|9||Nov. 7||at Cincinnati Bengals||1 p.m.||CBS|
|10||Nov. 14||at New England Patriots||1 p.m.||CBS|
|11||Nov. 21||Detroit Lions||1 p.m.||FOX|
|12||Nov. 28||at Baltimore Ravens||8:20 p.m.||NBC|
|14||Dec. 12||Baltimore Ravens||1 p.m.||CBS|
|15||Dec. 18/19||Las Vegas Raiders||TBD||TBD|
|16||Dec. 25 (Sat.)||at Green Bay Packers||4:30 p.m.||FOX/NFLN/AMZ|
|17||Jan. 3 (Mon.)||at Pittsburgh Steelers||8:15 p.m.||ESPN|
|18||Jan. 9||Cincinnati Bengals||1 p.m.||CBS|
The Browns have a tough end to the season, with four of their final six games against AFC North foes, which includes a bye week sandwiched by games against the Ravens.
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