CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Hue Jackson has no other choice at this point, which is why he’ll stick with DeShone Kizer as his starting quarterback for the foreseeable future.
Kizer put up yet another lackluster performance Sunday in the cold, wind and snow that saw him throw for 179 yards, complete 16 of 32 passes and turn it over 4 times – 2 fumbles, 2 interceptions – in a 19-7 loss to Jacksonville to drop the Browns to 0-10.
“DeShone is going to start at quarterback next week,” Jackson said. “There is no question about that. We just have to continue to get better and continue to work at it. Just have to make those plays when they are there. He knows that. Have to take care of the ball better. Just have to keep working at it.”
Kizer had 2 opportunities to win the game with the Browns down 13-7 in the final 2 minutes and he fumbled both possessions away, with the second resulting in a Jaguars touchdown that put the game out of reach.
Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue hit Kizer and knocked the ball into the end zone, where linebacker Telvin Smith fell on it to end all doubt with 1:14 to play. On the previous possession with the Browns still down 6, Ngakoue and Calais Campbell combined to sack Kizer, who fumbled and it was recovered near mid-field by Dante Fowler with 1:48 left.
Kizer, who was sacked 5 times, threw interceptions 13 and 14 on the season as well Sunday. The first came on the second possession right after a shanked 21-yard punt gave them the ball at their own 45 and the second was a result of a misfire to Corey Coleman in the fourth quarter.
“On an out route, I missed. You get paid not to miss in this league. I missed on that one,” Kizer said. “On the other one, it was one heck of a play by the backside linebacker for playing through his coverage into where the ball was going to.”
Unlike earlier in the season when Jackson was willing to bench Kizer, that won’t be the case – at least in the short-term.
“Where we are right now, I need to continue to see him,” Jackson said. “Let’s let him play. Let’s let him play this thing out. As long as he is healthy, let’s keep putting him out there. I want to walk away from this season knowing exactly what DeShone Kizer is top to bottom. I think he deserves that. I know this is all tough for him. Week in and week out, it is the consistency he has to keep chasing. He just has to keep working at it.”
Here are a few other notes from Sunday:
Play to Win a Game- Cleveland is 1-25 since Jackson took over as head coach and executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown elected to let 2016 free agents Tashaun Gipson, Mitchell Scwartz and Travis Benjamin walk and then releasing Taylor Gabriel in early September 2016.
The talent purge is a big reason why the Browns are in the position they’re in.
“I am trying to win,” Jackson said. “These players are trying to win.
“This team is in games. This team is hanging around games. The defense is playing good. The offense will make a play here and there. We just do not make enough NFL plays to win the game. That is what we have to do, and we have to do it better.”
Jackson doesn’t feel that his message is falling on deaf ears while also pointing out the obvious.
“We are coaching a young football team,” Jackson said. “This is not a veteran-laden football team. This is a young team so you are going to have those ups and downs. You are going to have those where it looks pretty good and then it falls back. It looks pretty good… It is who you are playing against. You are playing against a very talented team. Those warts are going to show every now and then.
“I don’t think it is on deaf ears. I know to our players it is not. I know to the people in the locker room it is not because they see it. We have to find a way to do it better. The players have to do it better, we have to coach it better and all of that. We are all in this together. It is not them, me – it is everybody. We just have to do it better, but it is my responsibility.”
Won’t Back Down – Gipson stood by his comments made last week blasting the Browns’ front office for the team’s current struggles just to win a game, although he did take 1 part back.
“The only thing I would take back is the 0-16 because I have friends on that team,” Gipson said. “Other than that I stand by everything. I wanted to pitch a shutout, and what I said about the front office I won’t take it back because it’s the truth.”
Prior to the game a few players jawed back and forth with Gipson.
“Some of those guys felt the need to address me and, you know, Mama ain’t raised no punk,” Gipson said.
“But after the game cooler heads prevailed as Gipson and Browns running back Isaiah Crowell swapped jerseys at the 30 before heading to their respective locker rooms.
Record-breaking Futility – If you’re going to be bad, you might as well be the best at it and the Browns have finally achieved that status.
Sunday’s loss marked the 43rd in their last 47 games since Nov. 30, 2014 for the Browns, who have lost 27 consecutive games on Sundays – also a new league record, to set a new benchmark for futility in NFL history over a 47-game span surpassing the Detroit Lions’ 5-42 mark from 2007-2010.
Sign of the Times – The creativity of Browns fans never ceases to amaze. Sunday as the snowflakes flew a pair of fans held up a pair of signs – “PIT of MISERY” and “DILLY DILLY” – which pretty much sums things up right now.