The Cleveland Browns have held a halftime lead in each of their six games this season, but in their three losses, they have been outscored, 55-3, in the second half.
In the regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins, the Browns lost the second half, 17-3. Up 6-0 at the half in Baltimore against the reigning Super Bowl-champion Ravens, the Browns were outscored 14-0 in the third and fourth quarters. Then, last Sunday, the Browns found themselves leading the Detroit Lions, 17-7, at the intermission, but allowed 24 unanswered points in the setback.
“I talked a lot yesterday about us coming out in the second half and playing better,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said. “I think the energy’s there. The emotion’s there. We just have to come out and execute better in the early parts of the third quarter.
“There’s really not a lot of adjustments. You do things as the game goes on, and some of that’s overrated in terms of what you’re doing there (at halftime). You put a plan together, and then, you talk to the guys about moving forward and what you need to do. We’re looking hard at what we’re doing at halftime, and if there’s some things procedurally that we may change. The energy’s good. Their focus is good. They know what they need to get done. It’s a matter of just executing.”
“We wanted to continue to lead and really push it, and it was just one of those things that we were flat in the second half,” Cameron said. “I don’t know if we got comfortable or complacent, but the energy wasn’t there.
“Our heads weren’t in it, and we had some bad plays in there. I was a part of a couple of them. It’s one of those things. We’ve got to come out and not get comfortable with a lead, really push it. And when we get the lead, we’ve got to step on their throats.”
Learning to finish an opponent, especially up by 10 points and starting the second half by receiving the third-quarter kickoff, is one of the many things Chudzinski wants his players to take from the setback and use in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
“You learn from what you did, correct the mistakes,” Chudzinski said. “This is a new week, and once this day’s over and we’re done looking at the tape, we’re moving on and it’s going to be about Green Bay. You have to do that as a player. You have to do that as a coach. If you let things dwell or carry them with you, you’re never going to get better.
“We played well in spurts. Our main goal now, going forward, is to be more consistent. It’s never just about one play or person to assign blame. We all can be better. There were many correctable points and things that we can grow from going forward with our players as we make the corrections.
“We’re 3-3, and we can only control the things that we can control. Going forward, Green Bay on the road is going to be a heck of a challenge for us, and we’ll be excited for playing them when that comes around.”