For the third consecutive week, the Cleveland Browns held a fourth-quarter lead over their opponents. And for the third straight Sunday, the Browns surrendered the game-winning touchdown in the game’s final minutes.
After reporting to the team’s Berea training facility following Sunday's 38-31 loss to the Chicago Bears, Browns players broke down video with their coaches and began to focus on corrections that need to be made ahead of this week’s game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
“It’s something we have to learn to overcome,” Kruger said. “When you have a bad game or lose a close one, you have to learn to come back and make sure that doesn’t happen. We’re in here the day after the game trying to make adjustments and figure it out. It’s tough. It hurts to lose those games, so we’re doing everything we can to figure it out.
“They’re different situations, but the outcome, unfortunately, has been consistent the last couple weeks. It’s nothing we’re wanting to happen. We’ve just got to make the adjustments and figure it out.”
Kruger said “it’s tough to lose,” but that it is a matter of making “the plays at the right times” in order to close out opponents.
“The reason we’re here and the reason we’re on this team is because we’re competitive,” Kruger
said. “Every guy in this building wants to win. To fight this whole season and dedicate the time and the effort, to not have the outcome that you want, that’s tough to swallow. The thing that makes it the hardest for me is we’re in every game. We’re right there. A lot of times, we’re actually controlling the game for the most part. Letting it slip away like that is tough.
“It’s tough to come back, but you’ve got to pick yourself up. It’s a hard situation. It’s not a good feeling to lose. Right now, we’re trying to bounce back, and I think we’re taking the right steps. We’re in here, we’re working hard and trying to get a good jump on the Jets. We’re doing the things necessary.”
Kruger, who signed with the Browns this past offseason, said he feels confident the team will focus on finding a way to finish games and collect victories based on the way it has played against its opponents, particularly, the last two weeks against the New England Patriots and Chicago Bears, two teams in the hunt for division championships.
“The great thing about sports is you have to move on, regardless of how you feel and regardless of the outcome, what you did the week before, especially in football,” Kruger said. “You only have so many opportunities with the season being the way that it is. It’s hard, but I’ve been here. This is my team. I really don’t think about those past situations. I’m very focused on what we’re doing.
“It just gives me that much more desire and passion to want to win. I know we’re building something here. I know we’re making the right moves. We need to figure out how to win at the end of the game. That’s the bottom line, and if we can do that, we’d have a pretty nice record right now.”