Todd Haley put it bluntly Thursday. If the Browns scored 42 points every week, it'd be a historic achievement.
That type of point total can't be expected every single week from the Browns, who hadn't hit that number in 11 years before Sunday's 45-42 overtime loss to the Raiders. But when Cleveland's coaches and players look back on an entertaining, albeit disappointing performance on the West Coast, they see opportunity for growth and areas to clean up as they look to run a crisper, cleaner operation Sunday against the Ravens.
"We thought that we left some plays out there," Browns coach Hue Jackson said.
"I am not going to tell you that we are going to score 40 every week. We are trying to score as many points as we can, I do know that."
The way Haley views it, yards equals points in the NFL. With the 487 yards of offense Cleveland posted Sunday, Haley was satisfied with the 42 points that came out of it.
But there's a catch: Drops -- nine in total, Jackson said -- and other mental errors prevented the Browns from accumulating a boatload of more yards.
"An underlying issue for our group has been just doing what you are supposed to do. More so that than communication. The communication in that game was very good. What we need to get better at going forward is knowing what our job is on each particular play because that creates trust," Haley said. "A lot of the things that I have talked about in here a number of times – we are making too many mental errors or more than you can make in a game and expect to win. That is what our emphasis has been and will be.
"As I told the guys, the first quarter of the season is over. I am looking for us to have new issues. I do not want to have to be dealing with old issues."
Since Baker Mayfield took over as starting quarterback, the Browns offense has compiled 63 points over six quarters. There have been some bumps in the road along the way -- the four turnovers Sunday come to mind -- but it's been an efficient, potent attack with the No. 1 pick under center.
Haley has been quick to brush off some of the external hyperbole that's been thrown Mayfield's way, but there's been no denying the impact he's made thus far.
"This is kind of who Baker has been," Jackson said. "He has found ways to score touchdowns and get the team into the end zone. That is a good thing. That is a good problem to have. We are trying to score it as often as we can as fast as we can and make sure that we put our players in position to do that because I think that you have to score enough points – especially in our division and especially with the teams that we are facing on our schedule – to have an opportunity to win."
The first four weeks of the 2018 season have proven every last point matters. The Browns are 1-2-1 but have been outscored by just two points.
Cleveland's offense knows what it's capable of. Now, the unit is focused on raising the standard to the point where performances like last week's are more of the norm.
"The points that we are scoring and the adversity that we are faced with, being down several weeks and having an opportunity to bounce back and either take the lead or put ourselves into a position to win the game, that is definitely something positive to look at," wide receiver Jarvis Landry said. "From there, cutting out mental errors and turnovers. We do that with the defense that we have when we are up 14, no team should have an opportunity to come back."