No time to waste: Browns 'already into Week 2' with Bengals game looming

By the time Browns players entered the Berea facility on Monday, it was already Week 2.

It would have been that way win or lose Sunday, but it took on some extra importance after the Browns' lopsided, season-opening loss to the Ravens. The Browns were ready to move on from the 38-6 loss the moment they landed back in Cleveland on Sunday evening, and they officially did just that a little more than 12 hours later as they began their preparations for Thursday night's home opener against the Bengals.

By preparing for Cincinnati, though, the Browns are addressing the many areas that went wrong in Baltimore.

"We just have to identify and correct," Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. "That is Week 1. We are already into Week 2, but we have to make sure with the players that we identify some things that we can do better and correct them so that we do not make some of those same mistakes again."

Stefanski identified two major trouble spots after assessing the team's performance against the Ravens. 

The first was the three turnovers, all of which were turned into points for the Ravens. The Browns fell into a 10-0 hole after an interception on the opening series and a fumble on a botched fake punt. Those mistakes put Cleveland behind against a Baltimore offense that thrives when it has an advantage.

The second was the team's eight penalties, a handful of which came at absolutely pivotal moments. After forcing a Ravens fumble to start the second quarter, Cleveland's offense had some momentum after picking up four first downs and moving inside the Ravens' 30-yard line. Three penalties, including a 15-yard facemask, helped move the Browns all the way back to their own 40-yard line and set up a daunting third-and-41.

Cleveland ultimately punted and pinned the Ravens inside their own 1-yard line. Baltimore rallied with a 99-yard touchdown drive to extend its lead back to double digits.

"That game got away from us," Stefanski said. "It is hard to say it was a close game because it was not. The final score did not indicate that. It is our job to make sure that we look at those little things, those gains and those plays of inches and make sure we find a way to make them next time we are presented with them."

Fortunately for the Browns, "next time" will be here in just a few days.

Cleveland's players broke down film and went through a walk-through Monday and will be back on the practice field Tuesday, which is typically their day off during normal weeks. Every minute matters in a short week, and the Browns are hoping to fully maximize it.

"Nobody wants to come out and lose, especially a conference game. We kind of had the mindset that we are going to rally back," LB Sione Takitaki said. "Sometimes you get hit in the mouth early like this and it can kind of make you. I feel like this week, everybody is kind of refocused – the whole group, not only the defense but I feel like the offense. I feel like we are going to work a little bit harder this week."

Stefanski said he's been impressed with the players' resiliency after a humbling start to the season.

"They flushed it yesterday, to be honest with you," Stefanski said. "We are moving on while saying that we will still identify and correct those things that we have to get better at, but we are moving on." 

Check out the best photos from the Cleveland Browns game against the Baltimore Ravens yesterday by the Browns photo team

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