CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns never got on track offensively and struggled to get drive-ending stops on defense, and that combined to add up to a 31-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
The Browns (2-3, second place in the AFC North Division) surrendered 275 rushing yards to the 49ers (4-0, first in the NFC West) and managed only 180 yards of total offense on the way to their third loss of the 2019 regular season and second by at least four scores.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield completed only eight of his 22 attempts for 100 yards with two interceptions, the second of which came on a deflection on a pass that hit wide receiver Antonio Callaway both in the hands and the chest before former Browns defensive back K’Waun Williams secured the takeaway and returned the ball to the Cleveland 49-yard line.
“I’m not hitting the panic button,” Mayfield said. “We know the problem.
“We know we have to be better. We just have to be better, and when you play a great team, you have to eliminate mistakes. You just have to. We know exactly what we need to do. We need to play well. We need to do our job each and every play and not lose sight of the goal at hand to be able to do that each week.”
The Browns had 12 possessions against the 49ers, and only two of those drives lasted longer than five plays. The Browns’ first four drives ended with two punts, an interception and a fumble, and all four of the second-half possessions resulted in punts.
Only two of those 12 possessions entered San Francisco’s side of the field.
“Not doing our job,” Mayfield said. “Anytime you’re stopping yourself, which seems to be our biggest problem right now, obviously, when you do that against a team of that caliber, you’re not going to have a lot of success.
“It once again shows, for us, we’ve got to do our jobs. The inconsistency is killing us right now. (It’s) being able to focus and do our job on each play and eliminate mistakes because when you play a team like that, you’re not going to have success.”
In addition to struggling to move the ball, the Browns had four turnovers -- two interceptions and two fumbles -- were one of 11 (nine percent) on third-down conversion attempts and committed seven penalties for 55 lost yards.
Because of the short drives, the Browns gave the 49ers a nearly 16-minute advantage in time of possession.
“To not stack a win is very unfortunate, but we knew nothing carried over from last week,” Mayfield said. “We just had to come out and do our job. I think the most disappointing thing is as simple as that, beating yourself. When you make mistakes and beat yourself up, a team like that is going to capitalize and they absolutely did, so they deserve all the credit.
“We’ll look at the film, whether it’s a lack of focus or just keeping it simple. We’ll see what it is. We’ll be able to key in on some things and eliminate mistakes. That’s what the good teams do, and we need to do that.
“I think we found out what we need to do. We just didn’t do it.”