BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns found themselves in a 21-point hole in the second quarter of their game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Sunday afternoon, and despite mounting a furious late-game comeback, they still suffered a 31-28 road loss.
In order to avoid having to make such a comeback, rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer says the change in culture within the team is “a mindset” for the players on the field.
“It's 100 percent a mentality walking into the game understanding that the game plan that you have is exactly what is needed to beat that team, and in order to execute that game plan, it's going to take all of us to buy into it and do our job correctly,” Kizer said.
Cleveland Browns battle Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium
Despite being responsible for three touchdowns, two passing and one rushing, against the Colts, Kizer shouldered the blame because he tossed three interceptions in a losing effort.
Plagued by dropped passes from his wide receivers and tight ends, Kizer completed only 22 of his 47 attempts for 242 yards and two touchdowns, but committed three turnovers, throwing two interceptions to Colts defensive back Rashaan Melvin and a third that spoiled the comeback attempt late in the fourth quarter.
“You’ve just got to continue to work on your craft,” Kizer said. “This is a game where you’ve got to always be getting better because as soon as you’re not upping your game, you’re getting worse.
“I think it’s my job to make sure that each day in practice that I’m out there working my butt off to become a more accurate passer, I work my butt off to run the ball a little better and have better timing with the guys who are out there with me.”
Although Kizer threw the three interceptions, he was responsible for bringing the Browns back into a competitive situation against the Colts.
The Browns put together a scoring drive and cut the Colts’ lead down to two scores, 28-14, when Kizer completed a one-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Njoku with 24 seconds to play in the first half.
Earlier in the drive, Kizer threw a 26-yard pass to wide receiver Jordan Leslie, who despite tight coverage from the Colts’ secondary, got his right arm into the air and secured the one-handed grab for a first down that moved the Browns down to the Indianapolis two-yard line.
Then, late in the game, Kizer threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kenny Britt with 6:56 to play in the fourth quarter. Despite the Colts being called for pass interference on the play, Britt caught the ball while fading to the sideline and fell down in bounds for the touchdown.
Also, Kizer completed a 25-yard pass to running back Duke Johnson on the scoring drive.
“I’m learning, week in and week out, that this game is based upon executing as much as you possibly can at the highest levels you possibly can every play and that every play does matter,” Kizer said. “Obviously, you go back and watch that film and you see that there’s some specific plays that can change the momentum and change the outcome of the game.”