CLEVELAND -- After Sunday’s 12-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans at FirstEnergy Stadium, the Cleveland Browns find themselves at 0-7, in fourth place in the AFC North Division and one of just two winless teams in the entire National Football League.
And now, the Browns face a trans-Atlantic trip to London’s Twickenham Stadium to battle the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL’s International Series.
“We are just going to keep fighting and keep getting better,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said.
“There is no quit in this football team. None like that, nothing I suspect in that locker room. These guys are ready to fight. They wish they can keep playing, but that is not the way the game goes, especially when the other team has one more point than you. The game is over, so they won.”
With neither team able to score a touchdown, the Titans gave Ryan Succop more chances at conversions, and the veteran kicker delivered with four field goals on the way to the overtime win over the Browns in a battle of AFC teams.
Succop converted four of his five attempts against the Browns, including the 47-yard game-winner at the 1:55 mark of the overtime period.
During the second half, Jackson benched rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer mid-game for the second time in three weeks, this time in favor of second-year signal-caller Cody Kessler. Kizer completed 12 of his 20 attempts for 114 yards, but threw two more interceptions and has a league-high 11 passing turnovers in just six starts this season.
“We are an 0-7 team that fought hard,” Jackson said. “We had a chance to win in the end and couldn’t pull it off. We had our chances. I am sure our players will tell you that. We have continued to do the things that stop us from having chances to secure victories, which are turnovers and being able to convert on third down better on offense and being able to make plays when we are there.”
Including the 0-7 start to the 2017 season, the Browns are 1-22 since Sashi Brown took over as executive vice president of player personnel on January 3, 2016.
Over the last three years, the Browns have gone 4-35, and the record has not been much better since Dee and Jimmy Haslam officially purchased the team in October of 2012.
In five seasons under Haslam’s majority ownership, the Browns have posted an NFL-worst 15-56 record. Factoring in the remaining games of the 2012 season after the sale was approved at an NFL Owners Meeting in Chicago, Haslam’s Browns have gone 19-61.
“Our guys, I have a lot of respect for them as I asked them, ‘Let’s be the best version of yourself that you can be,’” Jackson recalled.
“They walked in here and they tried to do that. They gave it everything they had. Our defense fought hard. There was a play or two here or there they made, but overall, our defense did a good job. Offensively, we have to find a way to score more points. At the end of the day, that is what it is. As I said earlier, we can’t turn the ball over.”
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