CLEVELAND — The 2019 regular season did not begin quite how the Cleveland Browns were hoping, but despite a 2-6 record and four-game losing streak, the players are not about to give up on the year, even if the playoffs now are a remote possibility.
The Browns are taking a one-game-at-a-time mentality to everything they do, starting with practice and meetings ahead of Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.
“Stay the course,” Mayfield said during his weekly press conference. “Whether it’s football or life, it’s not what’s going on, what adversity hits you, it’s what you do with that.
“Stay the course, continue to try to improve each week and put us in the best position to win. It’s all I can do. I can’t press too much to try to win it on one play. I have to continue to do my job and improve each week so we have a different outcome.”
After taking possession of first place in the AFC North Division with a 40-25 victory over the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on September 29, the Browns have gone on a four-game losing streak, and their rivals have surged to the top of the standings.
Following Sunday’s win over the New England Patriots, the Ravens had a four-game lead over the Browns in the AFC North Division.
“No matter what’s going on, we’ve made strides in certain areas that we needed to, but now, we just have to make the plays when they’re there,” Mayfield said. “We have to execute when it’s in the red zone.
“We have to do those obvious things that we lost because of, but to continue to stay the course and improve each week because we know that right now, with eight games left in the season, we have to have a single-week focus coming into it and do our job.”
While the team struggled through the first half of the 2019 season, Mayfield has echoed those issues with inconsistent quarterback play.
Through eight games this season, Mayfield has completed 159 of his 271 attempts for 1,963 yards and seven touchdowns against a league-high 12 interceptions. Mayfield threw 14 interceptions through 14 games last year.
“I think I’m still playing the way I need to mentally, having my eyes in the right spots, but now, I just think (it’s) the details of certain routes and me being on time with it,” Mayfield said. “The execution has been a thing that has gotten us beat.
“I think the past three weeks, I’ve steadily improved on where my eyes need to be and I think Freddie (Kitchens) and my coach would attest to that. So one week at a time and continue to take care of the ball and get the ball in our playmaker’s hands.”
Although bothered by the lack of success, Mayfield knows there is no time to rehash the mistakes of the first half of the season, not with a 6-2 Bills team coming to town, and then, a “Thursday Night Football” game against the Pittsburgh Steelers just four days later.
“It’s the way I’ve always been, no matter what’s going on,” Mayfield said. “If you have success, you have to put that behind you and keep moving forward.
“When there’s time still on the clock, it doesn’t matter. You have to do your job no matter what’s happened before that. So for me, it’s continuing to take the next step forward, put the ball in our guys’ hands, take care of it and put us in the best position to win.”