CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns just could not make enough plays to pull off the come-from-behind victory against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday.
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.
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.
“I wish I could explain the drops,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “I can’t. The pass interferences, I need to go back and see those. We run the same crossing routes as everybody else. We had an offensive pass interference on a basic route we ran last week, that we’ve been running all year.
“Are you going to call that contested? Are we physically pushing to get open? That’s what the guy said. I just know we don’t teach that. We don’t coach that. I hadn’t seen that, so that’s different. The basic crossing routes, we run the same ones everybody else does. That was disappointing.”
While Kizer struggled to make plays, 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.
Hilton’s efforts buoyed a 21-point second-quarter showing from the Colts.
“Obviously, they had a big second quarter and made some plays,” Jackson said. “T.Y. Hilton made some plays and we did everything we can earlier to try to slow him down, but he made the plays and we didn’t make them. The second half, I think we kind of remedied that. We’ve got to just finish some plays on offense to keep giving us chances.
“It’s disappointing. I’m not going to sit here and sugar-coat that. That’s a guy that we targeted and we wanted to slow down, and we weren’t able to slow him down.”
In order for the Browns to clean up their issues and turn their close losses into wins, Jackson knows what has to be done.
“We’ve got to make plays for him, and we didn’t do it,” Jackson said of Kizer. “It’s just that simple.”