CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns rolled into the 2017 regular season with the momentum from a perfect preseason, but with losses in a pair of outings against AFC North Division teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, that positive energy has slowed down over the first two weeks of the regular season.
With the Browns set for their second road game of the season Sunday, an inter-division game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, the players are anxious to bring back that winning feeling.
“You go 4-0 in the preseason and you get a little taste of winning in your mouth. The feel in the locker room, the vibe was ecstatic.
“Everyone was excited to get out there. Obviously, going through two losses in our first two regular-season games kind of took that away from us. Now, we want to get back to that, so if we can get out there and pick up a W, hopefully, we can build off of that and start stringing together a couple more.”
Cleveland Browns QB DeShone Kizer looks for bounce-back performance Sunday
Although the Browns are playing a team very much like them in the fact that the Colts have an 0-2 record, are breaking in a new quarterback and find themselves dealing with plenty of challenges on and off the field, Kizer and his teammates are not taking anything for granted.
“This is the NFL,” Kizer said. “Every team can improve each week. Every week is going to be a tough one for us. It is on us now to get back to the drawing board and prepare as well as we can to come out and play well against Indianapolis.”
After completing 20 of his 30 attempts with one passing touchdown and another rushing score in a 21-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the regular-season opener, rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer went six of 11 with an interception before being pulled from the game because of a migraine.
Following his return on the second drive of the third quarter, Kizer completed nine of his final 20 throws, but had two interceptions. He finished his second NFL start 15 of 31 for 182 yards and one touchdown against three interceptions, as well as a lost fumble.
Kizer took seven sacks from the Steelers in his NFL debut and another two in a loss at the Ravens, which is why Jackson wants him to have a quicker release, while also, getting the ball down the field, starting with Sunday’s game against the Colts.
“In this league, every drive is an important drive, but we understand the importance of momentum,” Kizer said. “When our defense plays as well as they do early in games, it is on us on the offensive side to also start fast. If we can get that momentum going early, catch a rhythm, you kind of keep the defense on its toes.
“This league is one where big plays, explosive plays can change a game. We are going after those explosive plays whenever we can.”