The reasons behind the Cleveland Browns' 31-10 loss to the New York Jets went beyond one area of the team. It was a system-wide malfunction.
The offense scored 10 points. Stops on defense were rare. Coach Mike Pettine wasn't hesitant to shoulder some of the blame, too.
"You invest so much in the opener. You prepare for it, you over-prepare for it, and to lose the way we did," said Pettine, "it's difficult to swallow it.
"Some of it's on the guys, but a lot of it's on the staff. We need to coach better."
One indication of losing by three touchdowns was a bombardment of mental miscues. Quarterback Johnny Manziel turned the ball over three times and the Browns finished with five on the game. Many of the 12 penalties negated positive yardage plays down the field.
Opportunities to seize control of the game in the second quarter presented themselves but Cleveland just couldn't capitalize. Loose balls, like Tashaun Gipson's fumble and a snap sent over Ryan Fitzpatrick's head, went New York's way. A Manziel pass near the goal line sailed a tad high for receiver Andrew Hawkins, turning a surefire touchdown into a field goal. The avalanche of missed opportunities piled on until it buried the Browns.
"You want to win football games in the NFL, you've got to make those plays," Pettine said.
An offense built around winning the line of scrimmage struggled to generate much push in the running game against the Jets' 300-pounders. A secondary that hoped to build off last year's top-ranked performance let the 32-year-old Fitzpatrick and Jets receivers have their way through the air.
"I know I didn't play up to my potential," said Joe Haden.
"I really don't have any words for it," Hawkins said. "That's football."
Some teams talk about burying film after a dreadful performance and never bringing up the loss again. Under Pettine, the Browns will do just the opposite, analyzing the gaffes together as a team.
"I told the guys afterwards, we own this – we own it," Pettine said. "You turn the ball over five times, you have 12 penalties, and a lot of the little detail stuff that I thought we had done a good job of leading up to this taking care of, we did not pay attention to detail."
"You don't want to overreact to the game, but you do want to look at the mistakes," Hawkins said.
Some issues in the game aren't as poor as they appear on paper for the Browns – even on overreaction Monday across the NFL landscape.
In the first half, New York had minimal running lanes and totaled just 42 yards on the ground. With starting quarterback Josh McCown in the first quarter, Cleveland's scripted plays were traveling the length of the field. The Browns' 104 rushing yards actually rank 12th in the NFL with a pending Monday Night Football doubleheader to close out Week 1.
"I've played on teams where we lost Week 1 and still went to the playoffs," Hawkins said, referring to his time with the Bengals. "The sky isn't falling. We'll come out the next game, try and fix our mistakes and get a win."