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Need to Know: Turnover margin, Browns' record go hand in hand

The Browns have never won the turnover battle this season, and they're still searching for their first victory as they start their Week 14 preparations for the Packers.

Coincidence? Hue Jackson doesn't think so.

"Has a lot to do with it, there is no question," the Browns coach said at his Monday press conference. "I am not going to just put it all on that, but it has something to do with it. We have always said that turnovers are one of the keys to winning football games. There is no question, it has a lot to do with it."

The Browns had gone seven quarters without a turnover, their longest stretch of the season, before rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer committed two of them in a short span of time late in the fourth quarter as Cleveland mounted an unfulfilled rally.

Kizer's fumble on third-and-goal as the Browns trailed, 19-10, with less than 5 minutes to play essentially sealed the game. He followed with an interception as the Browns looked to crack the end zone with less than 2 minutes on the clock.

"Obviously, those last two drives did not end the way we would like them to," Kizer said Monday. "If you can end it with a field goal or something positive at the end of the second to last drive there, hopefully we have the chance to go down and score and to try and win the game."

The Browns defense, meanwhile, showed a major improvement in its red zone defense Sunday, as it limited a potent Los Angeles offense to four field goals and a touchdown, but went a second consecutive game without a turnover. Cleveland's last turnover came in the third quarter of the Week 11 loss to Jacksonville, when Christian Kirksey strip-sacked quarterback Blake Bortles.

On the season, Cleveland's defense has forced 11 turnovers and the team is last in the league with a minus-19 turnover differential.

"The goal on offense, if we can score 24, we are going to win the game. We have not gotten to 24 enough times as an offensive football team to help our football team win games," Jackson said. "That is something we have to do. Defensively, I am not trying to say we are perfect. We are not. There are things that we have to continue to do better – communicate better, play fundamentals better – but I think we are doing some good things over there."

-- Jackson said the status of safety Jabrill Peppers remained uncertain because of a knee injury he sustained during Sunday's second half.

Peppers, who missed two games earlier this season with a toe injury, had just had his knee examined before Jackson met with reporters Monday.

"Hopefully, it is just nothing more than a bruise or something like that," Jackson said. "Hopefully, it is nothing serious."

Undrafted rookie Kai Nacua filled in for Peppers and logged 14 snaps in his place.

-- The Browns dealt with headset issues throughout Sunday's game, and it forced the team to use walkie talkies to communicate. It was particularly problematic whenever Jackson tried to communicate with Kizer directly into his helmet.

Cleveland used a timeout in the fourth quarter because of the issue, Jackson said.

"I felt bad because DeShone had to handle of that and handle playing the game. He is not going to make excuses and neither am I. This is not an excuse," Jackson said. "These things really happen so we had to do with it, but that is not why we lost that game – I will be the first to tell everybody that – but it sure didn't help some of the situations that we were in."

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