CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns are not discouraged.
The Browns had momentum from an undefeated preseason, but following losses in a pair of outings against AFC North Division teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, and Sunday’s 31-28 setback to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, that positive energy has slowed down considerably.
“We’re going to get better,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “We will. We’ve just got work to do. It’s just disappointing to be 0-3 right now. It’s not where we thought we’d be, but it’s where we are. It’s what we’ve earned, so we’ve got to go from there.
“That’s what we’re trying to get. We’re trying to turn them into a win. We’re not trying to lose, I promise you that. We’re doing everything we can to try and win. It’s just not happening as good as it needs to.”
Cleveland Browns battle Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium
The Browns (0-3) committed three turnovers, had four three-and-outs and were flagged 10 times for 113 yards, all of which combined with the explosive plays from quarterback Jacoby Brissett and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, and the Colts (1-2) rode that momentum to the victory in front of their home fans.
“We’re tired of being short,” Jackson said. “We’ve just got to keep working. Nobody’s down. Nobody’s throwing in a towel or anything like that. If anything, I’m pissed off because we want to win, deserve to win, but we’ve got to do the things that help you to win.
“We’ve got to eliminate the penalties. We can’t have a quarter where an offensive team all of a sudden scores a lot of points. When we’re down there, we’ve got to finish drives. We’ve got to catch the ball better. We’ve got to make those plays. That’s what pro teams do. We’ve got to get better at it.”
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.
Conversely, Brissett settled into a rhythm after just three weeks of work with the Colts following a trade from the New England Patriots, rushed for two touchdowns and completed 17 of his 24 throws for 259 yards and one touchdown, the first passing score of his NFL career.
Seven of Brissett’s completions went to Hilton, who accounted for 153 yards and one score in a winning effort.
“We’ve got to keep working,” Jackson said. “I’m not discouraged. I’m disappointed because I know what we’re trying to accomplish. I see signs of things. It’s just not happening fast enough, so my mindset is we’ve got to go back and coach better.
“It starts with us, and then, we’ve got to make sure the players are getting it right. That’s what you do. There’s nothing magical that’s going to happen. There’s no new players or anything like that that’s going to come in. We’ve got to get better. That’s what we have to do.”