CLEVELAND -- With Sunday’s 24-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium, the Cleveland Browns started the 2017 regular season the same way they did in 2016, with two consecutive losses, one at home and one on the road.
But after 24 hours to review the loss and correct the mistakes that led to five turnovers, four interceptions and one fumble, against the Ravens, the Browns are focused on this Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“We need that first win,” Browns wide receiver Ricardo Louis said.
“Once we get that first win, to me, I think once we get that first win, we are going to start rolling because we are going to understand what it takes. We are going to see how it feels, and we are going to go in the next week again rolling, and we are just going to handle our business.”
Quarterback DeShone Kizer went six of 11 with an interception before being pulled from the game because of the migraine, and in relief, reserve quarterback Kevin Hogan completed five of his 11 attempts for 118 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
After returning to the game on the second drive of the third quarter, Kizer completed nine of his final 20 throws, but had two interceptions. He finished his second NFL start 15 of 31 for 182 yards and one touchdown against three interceptions, as well as a lost fumble.
“Obviously, the turnovers were a huge undoing not just for our offense, but for our football team,” Jackson said. “Anytime you turn the ball over like that, I was surprised the score wasn’t worse than what it was. I think we will grow from this. We will learn from it.”
Although Jackson and the Browns lost their 17th game in 18 outings dating back to the 2016 regular-season opener, there is a much different sense of confidence in the building than there was at this time last year.
“We played two of the better teams in our division,” Jackson said. “There is still one more to play. We get that. We are 0-2, but the feel in the building, the feel with our football team is nothing like I felt a year ago.
“I think our guys are excited about getting back to work as fast as we can. We know we have a big game in Indy this week. We have some things to clean up -- there is no question about that -- and we will go from there.”
To further echo Jackson’s point, Louis expressed confidence in his teammates, not only in their talents, but also, their desire to work harder in the face of adversity, which he believes goes a long way in changing the culture of a franchise that has not had a winning season since 2007 or made a playoff appearance since January of 2003.
“There are a lot of guys in this locker room who do not want to accept failure, do not want to accept losing,” Louis said. “It is unfortunate that this happened, but we are figuring out ways to not let the negativity of people saying, ‘Aw, here we go again.’
“We are not letting that creep in. We don’t want that to creep in at all because that's where it starts. We want to eliminate that as soon as possible. Leaders on this team are stepping up and addressing that. Yeah, it is a different feel. We just don’t want to accept losing at all, and we are going to go to Indianapolis and we are going to handle business.”
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