The Cleveland Browns lost a heartbreaker to the New York Jets by the score of 23-16.
With the loss, the Browns go to 10-5, and the once clear playoff scenarios are muddier.
All Browns fans looked and felt the same way Baker Mayfield did when he sat down for his postgame press conference.
To say he was dejected would put it mildly.
“I failed this team,” Mayfield told reporters.
He Took One Question
To be fair, the question was a comprehensive one, and he didn’t shy away from providing a complete answer.
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) December 27, 2020
When asked to summarize the last 24 hours, he gave us the following:
1. Baker Compared The Last 24 Hours to 2020.
Of course, he was disappointed that the starting corps of wide receivers weren’t at the game.
However, he did express his full confidence in the players that jumped in at the last minute.
Mayfield said there are absolutely no excuses for the loss; the team has to be prepared to adapt to change.
2. He Failed The Team
#Browns Baker Mayfield: “I failed this team. I put three balls on the ground. I didn’t do enough”
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) December 27, 2020
Mayfield said the loss is completely on him.
The Browns had everything they needed to win the game.
But Mayfield blames himself for failing the team and not doing his job.
He believes he should have played at a higher level.
And of course, he referenced his inability to hold on to the ball on that fateful 4th and 1 quarterback sneak.
3. Win and Get In
He summed it up by saying he knew what could have happened had they won today.
Now their backs are against the wall, and they need to roll with the punches.
He said the loss will sting for a day or so, but the team needs to move ahead and focus on the Steelers.
Recipe For Disaster Today For Browns
Honestly, everything that could go wrong did for the Browns starting yesterday when they were trying to travel to New Jersey for the game.
Falling behind early was problematic because the running game was not cranking on all cylinders today either.
Losing Jedrick Wills and not having either Wyatt Teller or Chris Hubbard at guard hurt, but all teams are depleted with injuries by Week 16.
The biggest issue was the game plan had to be rewritten with no practice time to work with the new players elevated from the practice squad.
Some could argue that the NFL should have postponed the game until Monday or Tuesday to give the Browns a chance to prepare.
With the playoffs coming and a tough Week 17 opponent in the Steelers, that may not have helped the Browns either.
Baker Mayfield is right; what they experienced is 2020 in a nutshell; unexpected, crappy, and unnerving.
But Coach Stefanski has said from the beginning regarding COVID-19, the team that manages it the best will prevail.
“We got beat today. I got out-coached, we got outplayed. We did the things we can’t do, minus-2 in turnover battle, penalties, drops, not good.”
Luckily the Browns have a Week 17 to pull things together to attempt to make their playoff ambitions a reality.
Because the only thing worse than this week’s loss is if it happened next week, and the season ended on this sour note.