BALTIMORE —The Ravens made life difficult for DeShone Kizer in his first NFL regular season road game.
The rookie quarterback committed four turnovers — three interceptions and a strip-sack — in a 24-10 loss to Baltimore on Sunday that saw Cleveland struggle to get out of its own way in front of a raucous crowd at M&T Bank Stadium.
"Everything I said we couldn't do, we did," head coach Hue Jackson said in his postgame news conference. "That's a growing experience for our guys."
That includes Kizer, of course, who finished a tough afternoon with 184 yards passing on 15-of-31 attempts. While both he and Jackson expressed disappointment in the outcome, they also chose to look at the bigger picture as the 21-year-old from Notre Dame continues to grow each and every week.
"He's not going to get rattled by this," Jackson said. "He'll go back to work with more resolve and understand that being on top of every little thing is so important – how important every throw is. But you can't miss them, and the other team gets them. He'll grow from this."
"Everything's a lesson; the good, the bad, the ugly," added Kizer, who described his miscues as "unacceptable."
The performance came as Kizer, the former second-round NFL Draft pick, missed roughly a quarter because of a migraine. "I could just tell something was going on," said Jackson, who added the youngster returned only after passing multiple tests with the team's medical staff. "Everything with him was totally fine, so that's why I put him back in. He deserved to be out there playing, and that's why he went back out there."
Kizer, meanwhile, declined to lean on that dynamic as an excuse, saying it had little effect on his performance. "They had nothing to do with what happened in the game," he said of the headache. "When I came back in the game in the second half I felt fine."
After back-to-back losses to AFC North rivals, Jackson said he expects a battle-tested Kizer to rebound against the Colts next weekend in Indianapolis.
"He's not going to play every game perfectly, so I do know that. Me and him had a great conversation on the sideline. He gets it," he said.
"He will grow from this."