CLEVELAND -- It sounds simple enough, but after 12 straight losses to start the 2017 season, the Cleveland Browns know very well just how difficult it is to win games.
And the desire to claim victory is burning so deep within rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, who is 0-11 as a starting quarterback for the Browns, that individual improvements mean little to him if the results of the game come out the same as they have over the first three months of the season.
“I just want to win a game. That is all,” Kizer said.
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With their 12th consecutive loss to start the 2017 season, the Browns dropped to 1-27 since the current front-office regime of executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta took control of the organization and hired Hue Jackson as the coach in January of 2016.
The Browns’ winless streak now stands at 347 days, and they have not won on a Sunday afternoon since December 13, 2015. The 29 straight Sunday losses are an NFL record, and their 4-45 mark in the last 49 outings is the worst in the league in that four-year span.
Additionally, the Browns’ 1-27 mark is the worst in league history over a 28-game stretch, beating the previous mark of 2-26 set by the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1976-1977 seasons.
“It is another loss,” Kizer said. “You spend a lot of time preparing. You spend a lot of time developing yourself individually to go out and succeed. To go out there after another great week of preparation, another confident week going into the game on Sunday and you are not coming out successful, it is pretty frustrating. You allow it to get to you for 24 hours, you learn from it, and then, you prepare yourself for the next week.
“You keep stacking them up. There are continued opportunities in front of you. Obviously, you can feel that number shrinking. The closer you get to the end of the season without achieving the goals you have, the more frustrated you become.”
From a league-high 15 interceptions to eight fumbles and the 11 losses as a starter, there have been plenty of frustrating moments that could have rattled the confidence of the young quarterback. However, Kizer has maintained a level of confidence in his abilities despite the consistent setbacks.
“You go back to seeing who you were,” Kizer said. “To be in this league, at some point in time, you have to had to experience some success and who you are when you are experiencing that success is who you need to be right now in order to get over that hump.
“Last year, going through the battles that I went through at Notre Dame and going through battles now, it is all going to be experiences I can pull from when we do get over this hump. To see how close it is I think is what is driving us as a team to continue to have the energy that we have each week to try to prepare ourselves to go get that first win.”