CLEVELAND -- Following a 24-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium two weeks ago, Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas and wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. vented frustrations about the front office, as well as the team’s inability to protect the quarterback.
And although the Browns once again failed to protect the quarterback, as they surrendered six sacks in a 27-13 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday, Pryor changed his tune and expressed confidence the team would get a victory soon.
“I believe so,” Pryor said. “The way our defense played (Sunday), you can win a game that way. We could have beaten that team. It’s sad. Games that we can win against a very good team, offensively, we just didn’t do it.
“Whatever it is, we need to fix it. Our defense is out there playing their butts off. If you weren’t looking at the score, you could look at the game and say that our defense played really good. We have to score points and help them out. That is why it’s a team game.”
Quarterback Eli Manning completed 15 of his 27 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in leading the Giants to the two-score win over the Browns. Manning spread around the ball to seven different players, but speedy wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was his favorite target, catching six passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.
With the win, the Giants improved to 8-3 on the season and remain in the playoff hunt in the NFC, while the Browns dropped their 15th straight game dating back to last December and fell to 0-12 on the 2016 regular season.
“I think we felt offensively, we didn’t do enough to help the team win,” Thomas said. “I think the defense played one of their better games. We were able to move the ball sometimes, but we had some critical mistakes and I think that was the difference.”
For the Browns to overcome their recent struggles, Thomas knows the players have to keep their focus over the bye week if they hope get into the win column and avoid being just the second team in NFL history to finish a season 0-16.
“It is important to get away from the game a little bit,” Thomas said. “It’s important to be introspective about where we are, and also, where we want to be in the last four weeks of the season. We have to come back hungry and with new motivation. We have to find whatever it is inside of you to get a little better to help your team get a win.”