CLEVELAND -- After Sunday’s 31-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium, the Cleveland Browns remain the last winless team in the National Football League, and frustration is starting to set in for the players and coaches alike.
Late in the 14-point loss to their in-state and AFC North Division rival, Browns coach Hue Jackson removed his headset and lit into the team for their subpar performance after the seventh straight setback, five of which they have held or been within one score of the lead during the fourth quarter.
“Obviously, another loss,” Jackson said. “Didn’t play as well as I still think we can play, but obviously, Cincinnati played well. (They) played well all the way around and they won the game, and that’s the way it’s going to be.
“I called the team out. Yeah, I was disappointed because I don’t want anybody running the ball like that on us. Again, we’ve got to get some things squared away, but I take responsibility for it all. It’s not our players. We’ve got to fix some things and keep working on some things and we will.”
Although the Browns had 21- and 28-yard runs and seven pass catchers each have at least a 10-yard reception, they could not match the Bengals, who rushed for 271 yards, one of the top 10 running performances in franchise history, and totaled 559 against Cleveland’s defense.
Of those 271 rushing yards, Jeremy Hill was responsible for 168 of them.
“He just played well,” Jackson said. “He played well, and they blocked well, gave him chances and handed the ball to him. That’s what Jeremy Hill can do.”
Factoring in Cincinnati’s three longest touchdowns, 48- and 44-yard passing scores from quarterback Andy Dalton to wide receivers A.J. Green and Brandon LaFell, and a 74-yard sprint from Hill, as well as another 48-yard grab by Green and 40-yard gallop from Hill, those five plays accounted for 254 yards, 45.4 percent of the Bengals’ total offense against the Browns.
And with all those big plays, the frustration continued to mount until Jackson could no longer let it go unchecked.
“I don’t like losing,” Jackson said. “I can get just like anybody else. I can get disappointed and upset just like anybody else.
“I can get disappointed. I don’t like where we are as a football team, and this is my responsibility, so at the end of the day, in my mind, I have to find a way to fix it -- and as fast as I can as best I can, so that’s what I have to do.”