CLEVELAND — Browns coach Hue Jackson didn't have much to say after a 38-14 loss to the Chargers in which his team was outplayed and overpowered from start to finish.
"That was disappointing," Jackson said as he approached the lectern for his post-game news conference.
It was both Cleveland's worst loss of the season and its first at home in a season that, thus far, looks like it could be the beginning of a franchise turnaround. This afternoon, however, proved to be a reminder of how far a talented but young team still has to go.
Asked just where this game — one where Los Angeles rolled up almost 500 total yards and flummoxed rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield all day long — got away, Jackson shrugged. "I don't ever think that it got away," he said. "I don't know if we ever got our hand on it."
The Chargers scored on their opening drive and never looked back. The Browns, meanwhile, seemed out of sync on offensive, and their defense was gashed by a rushing attack that finished with 246 yards and three touchdowns. The end result was the second largest margin of defeat since 2016, as Cleveland fell to 2-3-1 on the year.
"We just didn't execute. We didn't do our job. We weren't detailed. We didn't do the things that we talked about all week," said Mayfield, who completed less than half of his throws for 238 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
"That's the most disappointing thing, anytime you do not do your job, I'm at fault for majority of that. I'm going to be very hard on myself. We have to be able to look at this and learn from it — have to be more prepared coming into the next week. It doesn't matter what happened. It doesn't matter the buzz."
Entering the game, the Browns were riding high after a dramatic overtime win over the Ravens, their first against an AFC North foe in three years and. Subsequently, praise both from the national news media and celebrities like Snoop Dogg, who visited the team's facility earlier this week, came from all directions. Against that backdrop, Jackson cautioned the team against losing its focus but didn't believe the dynamic played a significant role in its undoing.
The Cleveland Browns play the Los Angeles Chargers at FirstEnergy Stadium in Week 6.
"I hope not. I don't want to say that we did," he said. "I just didn't think that we came out and played the way that we did in our first five games. We have some work to do."
Cleveland also entered the bout remarkably thin at wide receiver, having lost Rashard Higgins (knee) and his backup, undrafted rookie Derrick Willies (collarbone), within less than a week. Veteran backup Rod Streater left the game with a stinger and did not return.
"I'm not going to make any excuses," Jackson said. "We just didn't play well. We didn't play well. Period."
With back-to-back road trips against the Buccaneers and Steelers looming, the Browns will refocus and regroup. It's a long season, they said.
"This loss seems bad because of the score, but at the end of the day, it only counts as one in the loss column," safety Damarious Randall said. "Even had we lost in overtime again, it's still the same loss. We're not trying to put more or less on this loss, but at the end of the day, it's one loss. We are going to learn from it.
"Every team is going to go through something like this," he continued, "and it's the way you respond. That's going to really speak volumes about this team."