Why the Browns Not Playing in Brazil is a Good Thing

The Cleveland Browns were not chosen for the NFL's first-ever game in South America. That may be for the best.
Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Brazil game saga is finally over and the NFL finally announced that it will indeed be the Green Bay Packers facing the Philadelphia Eagles in a Week 1 matchup in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

It was initially reported that the Cleveland Browns would be one of the two final options to face Philadelphia in the historic matchup but the league decided to go with the Packers instead.

Browns Weren't Chosen For the NFL Week 1 Game in Brazil

As fun as it would have been for Cleveland to be a part of the first-ever NFL game in South America, this might be for the best.

There is certainly an argument to be made that playing in a neutral-site game would have been better than playing on the road against Philadelphia at some point during the season. But, whether starting the season in Brazil with an unprecedented Friday night game would have been an ideal scenario for the Browns is debatable.

Yes, the teams are playing early so they will have some rest advantage until next Sunday. But, it is still a 10+ hour flight from Sao Paulo to Cleveland. Those air miles aren't ideal for any potential injury recovery or rehab process.

Plus, international games usually have a lot of fanfare and distractions for the teams involved. It requires different preparation and training camp conditions than the players are used to. Messing up their routine and rhythm that early in the season could have had a lasting impact on the early weeks of the season.

Even though the Browns mostly retained most of their key pieces this offseason, they will largely look like a new team because of all the injuries from last season. The team will need time to mesh and build chemistry as they chase another postseason appearance. Starting the season on the right foot will be key for that reason alone and being in Brazil for that first week could have made things more complicated.

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