Less than 24 hours after he quickly exited FirstEnergy Stadium without speaking to the media following the Browns’ 32-28 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Jarvis Landry took the podium in Berea.
He began with an apology, explaining he didn’t feel as if he could maintain the proper level of professionalism after such a frustrating loss. And it was an emotional one — the loss, not the apology — as the Browns gave up a lead late in a game of which they once had command and ultimately fell to 2-4 after six games.
Must-win games usually don’t exist in October, and it’s not that Sunday wasn’t important; it’s the fact the Browns still have 10 games left to play. There is time to start stacking wins. Sunday, though, sure felt like it should have been one.
“The biggest thing (that frustrated him is) just knowing that we should have won that game,” Landry said. “That’s probably the toughest part.”
Landry went on to elaborate how, on the surface, the circumstantial evidence pointed to a lopsided Browns loss. Cleveland committed four turnovers, had a punt blocked, lost the time of possession battle by a significant margin and allowed its opponent to gain 6.1 yards per offensive play. The Browns also racked up more penalty yards than their opponent.
Check out the best photos from the Cleveland Browns game against the Seattle Seahawks yesterday
And yet, with 9:06 left in the game, the Browns were kicking off to the Seahawks with a three-point lead.
Of course, the truly regrettable mistakes came much earlier, starting with Baker Mayfield’s pass to Odell Beckham Jr. that instead landed in the stomach of Seahawks defensive back Tre Flowers. There was also Seattle’s block of a Jamie Gillan punt and Mayfield’s pass to Landry that glanced off the receiver’s hands and landed in the possession of Seahawks defensive back Tedric Thompson.
“I feel like I ran a pretty good route,” Landry said of the play that took the Browns from the doorstep of extending their lead to 27-12 just before halftime to the opposite result. “Had an opportunity, got inside, I just didn’t make the play. When balls get tipped up in this league, they usually get picked off. I’ve just got to make the play.”
The mistakes started stacking up. And instead of beginning the process of stacking wins, the Browns ended up staring at their second straight loss.
“I think for us, we do great things and we try to build off of it and we end up taking steps back,” Landry said. “We’ve just got to find a way to do the things that we do well consistently.”
In their defense, the offense was doing plenty of things well early Sunday. Mayfield and Co. put 20 points on the board in the first 15:10 of the game. But then they didn’t score again until the aforementioned point in the fourth, with 9:03 left to play.
Such a drought allowed Seattle to get back into the game. And it set the Browns up for a critical situation, as head coach Freddie Kitchens called it Monday, in which they did not succeed.
Landry is encouraged, though, because the Browns played well against one of the NFL’s better teams which also happens to feature a legitimate MVP candidate in Russell Wilson. They’ll meet an equally stingy foe in Week 8 when they travel to the east coast to face the undefeated New England Patriots.
Before then, though, the Browns will get the bye week, an extra stretch of time that will allow them to both prepare for the Patriots and get their health in order. Landry said Monday he was a little banged up with an ankle injury suffered when he tried to essentially take a charge when contacting a defender one play after he was flagged for defending himself in the open field.
He’ll be fine, Landry assured reporters. Hopefully he and his teammates will be fine on the field, playing together as a team, in New England, too.
“I would definitely say that we are a team, but I would think the biggest thing I am trying to say is, like I said last week, we need to find ways to continue to play to our potential,” Landry said. “That is the biggest thing.”