It all comes down to this.
Months of training, 17 weeks of practice and hours of film study culminate with Sunday’s game between the Cleveland Browns (4-11) and Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8) at Heinz Field. The Browns come into the contest eager to break a six-game losing streak and end the 2013 season on a positive note.
“We’ve got one more week, Pittsburgh, and I want to leave here with a win going into the offseason,” veteran linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said. “This is what we do. We’ve been put in a great situation, and we have a great job. We just need to focus these next few days that we have going into next week. It’s a big week, Pittsburgh. We won’t change anything we’ve been doing, just keep plugging away because, eventually, things will turn.”
Despite having a 10-point lead after the first quarter and being tied at 10 going into the fourth quarter, the Browns suffered a 24-13 loss to the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium Sunday.
They allowed the Jets to convert 12 of 18 third-down attempts (67 percent) and three of four red-zone trips (75 percent), as well as rush for 208 yards, led by Chris Ivory’s 109 yards on 20 attempts.
“We still have one more game, and I don’t want to end my season like this,” defensive back
“I wouldn’t expect our record to be like this and with the overall feeling of the team right now. We’ve got another week and we’ve got to come in strong. It’s got to change. This is not good enough.”
Jackson said the frustration comes from believing the 2013 Browns are better than they were a season ago, when the team posted a 5-11 record.
“I feel like this is a much better team,” Jackson said. “It’s just a lot of learning to do this year, a lot of teaching tape, a lot of things that we can learn from that’s going to make us a better team going into next week and going into next year. Right now, we’ve got to clean some things up. The opportunities are there. We just come up short for whatever reason, and we’ll keep fighting this thing out. Hopefully, it will be a different outcome this weekend.”
Because of the loss to the Jets, Jackson said it puts even more importance on ending the season with a victory.
“It wouldn’t matter who we were playing,” Jackson said. “We just want to win. We want to win a game because it’s going to be a long offseason, and you remember that last game. It sticks with you.
“The fact that it’s Pittsburgh, it’s great. It’s a big rivalry game, and we get to go down to their place. They’ll be playing for that last spot in the playoff race. You want to end on a good note. People remember your last game, and we don’t play another game for however many months that is going into August. You definitely want to end with a win.”