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Freddie Kitchens laments costly sequence that flipped script vs. Ravens - News & Notes

The Browns wish they could have 2 minutes back from their loss Sunday to the Ravens.

Baltimore went into halftime with a 14-6 lead after Cleveland surrendered two quick touchdowns and suffered a quick three-and-out on offense. That sequence flipped the momentum the Browns built after they shut out the Ravens — who boast one of the NFL's top offenses — in the first quarter for the second time this season.

"Me personally, I wish I could've had back (what happened) right before the half," coach Freddie Kitchens said Monday. "I think that put us behind the 8-ball a little bit, and we weren't able to recover."

With just under 2 minutes to play in the half, the Ravens stunned the Browns on a pair of quick plays that went 63 yards to the end zone. It started with Lamar Jackson hitting Mark Ingram for a 24-yard completion. On the next play, Jackson found Mark Andrews uncovered for a 39-yard score.

The Browns needed to quickly forget about the drive. If they kept the Ravens off the scoreboard for the final minute of the half, they'd go into halftime only down 7-6 against the winners of the AFC North.

Instead, the Browns' offense spent 16 seconds on the field after failing to record a first down on three passing plays and punted to the Ravens, who marched down the field again for seven more points despite having no timeouts.

Kitchens wished he had called a run play rather than a pass play — which fell incomplete and stopped the clock — on third down when the Browns still had the ball.

"I like to have total confidence in our players to execute," Kitchens said. "Give Baltimore credit. They made the plays right there, and we didn't get the clock started. When it got to third down, I should've ran the ball and started the clock."

-- Kitchens said the third-and-1 play call before the 2-minute warning in the first half revolved around his aggressive philosophy he hoped would give the Browns an edge.

He called for a halfback pass from running back Kareem Hunt, but the Baltimore defense snuffed out the attempt and tackled Hunt before he could find an open receiver for an 8-yard loss. The Browns were forced to punt on the next play, and the Ravens quickly scored their first touchdown on the next drive.

"You either look like an expert, or you look like a goat. I look like a goat," Kitchens said. "We took a shot. I wanted to remain aggressive the whole game. That's one of the things that didn't work."

-- Kitchens is confident the Browns can improve from their disappointing results this season. The loss Sunday officially eliminated the Browns from playoff contention, but Kitchens believed players and coaches did all they could to prepare for a talented Baltimore team and show they weren't ready to give up.

"I thought those guys did an excellent job throughout the week staying focused on the task at hand," Kitchens said. "They played with tremendous effort and enthusiasm. We still had belief and hope. I thought those guys did a great job throughout the week staying focused, and that's one thing we've learned throughout the year. That's the one thing you can control."

-- Nick Chubb wants the Browns to look at this season as motivation for improvements.

The running back is one game away from winning the NFL rushing title — he currently holds a 92-yard lead over Christian McCaffrey — but Chubb knows the Browns still need to improve as a team for better results next season.

"It's just motivation, knowing how it feels to not be as successful," Chubb said. "We'll never forget how we feel now. We don't ever want to feel this way again. We know what we did this year — things that worked, things that didn't work. Next year, we'll come in with a different mindset."

-- Chubb said he hasn't looked at the rushing leaderboard. He knows he's at the top only because people have told him.

His biggest advocate appears to be Browns running backs coach Stump Mitchell.

"People are encouraging me and telling me the numbers," Chubb said. "(Coach) Stump wants me to get every yard out there. He's told me I have good eyes. Every yard counts. If someone wants me to get it, it's definitely Stump."

-- Joe Schobert hopes he'll have another chance to play in a Browns uniform at FirstEnergy Stadium.

The linebacker is currently set to become an unrestricted free agent in the upcoming offseason and leads the Browns with 125 tackles this season, but he hopes Sunday wasn't the last time he'll play a home game in Cleveland.

"This is the place that gave me my chance in the NFL," Schobert said. "Since I've been young, I've been a loyal guy. There's a certain amount of respect and pride there to play for the team and for the city. That's the kind of guy I am."