Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer stood by his locker Monday afternoon and didn't sugarcoat what happened in his team's 24-6 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"We sucked," said Hoyer. "It sucks to admit it, but you have to be able to face the facts and just realize what you need to do to get better."
Hoyer described his own play bluntly, too. He was inaccurate on some throws – the sailing end zone pass to Jordan Cameron during the second quarter stood out the most. And he wasn't as patient in the pocket as he had been all throughout the 2014 season.
"Sometimes you've just got to hang in there a little bit longer even when you don't think you can," said Hoyer. "It's something that I need to work on."
On Sunday coach Mike Pettine's stance after the defeat was that the quarterback gets all of the credit for wins and all of the blame for losses. His stance didn't change much when he met with local media on Monday.
"The formula for us to be successful – we weren't able to do it," said Pettine. "Obviously, Brian didn't play that well, especially statistically. A lot of it was because of those circumstances that we were forced to throw it. He was harassed. He was hit, sacked. That's hard to be successful when you're rushed."
On Monday morning, Hoyer and the rest of the Browns reviewed the film of the loss to the Jaguars. The team is fully agreeing they won't be using the rearranged offensive line, or Alex Mack's absence as a justification for Cleveland's ineptitude on offense.
"There are 16 games in the NFL," Hoyer said. "You're not going to be perfect in every one. The biggest thing for us is we need to take this – we just watched it – learn from our mistakes, bury it and move on. We get two games at home. We're playing Oakland. As soon as I get done here talking to you guys I'm going to go back and start watching them. That's the mentality that you have to have in this league."
Hoyer was also asked if he thinks other teams will be "copy cats" and use Jacksonville's defensive game plan to slow down what has otherwise been one of the top offenses in the NFL. The Browns went in the Jacksonville game averaging 26.8 points per game, tying for ninth in the NFL. Under Hoyer's guidance, it was the first time that Cleveland had opened up the season scoring 21 points in as many consecutive games since 1969.
Jacksonville stacked eight in the box and disrupted the flow of the running game, which hurt Hoyer and the passing attack. But the 29-year-old quarterback was quick to point out sometimes Pittsburgh had put nine defenders in the box and still couldn't slow down the Browns.
"Kyle's [Shanahan] run this system for a long time. He's been running this system with eight men in the box for a long time. It's not anything that we should be worried about," said Hoyer. "It's something that go out and you watch the film, realize what we did wrong. Give Jacksonville credit, but there were times where we just flat our made mistakes. When that happens and you play a good defense they're going to make you pay. When you're in third-and-long a lot of the game it makes it tough."
Hoyer also made a compelling point about Cleveland's passing attack. There were times in the New Orleans and Tennessee wins where Cleveland was totally reliant upon Hoyer's arm and receivers like Andrew Hawkins and Travis Benjamin to get open and make plays. Heading into Week 8, the Browns have proven their offense can beat defenses in every aspect. This is a unit that is still brimming with confidence. One stinker out of six games doesn't mean it's time to overhaul the offensive strategy.
Monday was the only day the Browns are going to focus on what happened in Jacksonville. Pettine said his team won't completely gloss over the Jaguars game and will take some lessons away. Tuesday is the players' day off and Wednesday the real prep work begins for the Raiders.
"I know for me, Sunday can't come fast enough," said Hoyer. "You want to get back out there and be able to play."