BALTIMORE — All things considered, the Cleveland Browns' 2020 season opener could not have gone worse.
But when it comes the 38-6 defeat his team suffered at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield insisted it was possible to turn the negative nature of the blowout loss into a positive.
"Sometimes a wakeup call is pretty good for everybody -- a nice punch in the mouth, and that is how we should take it," Mayfield said following Sunday's loss. "We should not dwell on it, realize that we just got beat today, they played better than us, look at it, get better, move on and go play the Bengals. That is all we can do."
Doing just that, however, could prove easier said than done.
After amassing a disappointing 6-10 record in 2019, the Browns hardly looked like an improved team on Sunday -- a sentiment that rang true on both sides of the ball. Offensively, Cleveland turned the ball over twice and failed to move the ball with any sort of consistency. On defense, the Browns struggled to stop much of anything, even allowing a 99-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter.
Yet despite his team's shortcomings, the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft insisted that there were little things that Cleveland could continue to build on.
"I thought we got into some rhythms in little spurts during drives," Mayfield said, before adding, "but then a negative play would happen and we could not overcome those. The great teams do overcome those negative plays or they save the downs and move forward."
Although they weren't able to do so on Sunday -- admittedly, against one of the NFL's most talented teams -- Mayfield said he believes the Browns are capable of preventing their mistakes from multiplying. Cleveland won't have to wait long for its next opportunity to prove it, as the Browns will host the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday night.