On the Offense

Presented by

Offense eager to show more polished performance in Thursday night home opener

Baker Mayfield didn't have much time to immerse himself in the mistakes from the Browns offense in Sunday's season-opening loss to the Ravens.

Cleveland scored only one touchdown in the 38-6 loss, Mayfield totaled just 189 passing yards and the anticipated production from the Browns' new offensive playbook rarely came to fruition. After months of anticipation and eagerness to display their wide array of weapons, the offense fell well short of their Week 1 expectations.

But their next chance to showcase that firepower is already two days away.

The Browns are preparing to strike back for Thursday night's home-opening battle against the Cincinnati Bengals, and Mayfield is confident the short week will make it easier for the Browns to move on from Sunday and return to the field with a vengeance to defeat their AFC North rival.

"The quick turnaround means you can't dwell on the negative," Mayfield said. "You're not going to beat yourself up throughout the week when you have too much to focus on. The shorter week means you've got to get all your studying done earlier in the week, and we have a bunch of guys who are focused and ready to go out on Thursday."

Not many teams typically embrace a four-day turnaround for their next game, but Cleveland is welcoming the short week. The Browns are hungry to prove Sunday was an aberration and are using the abbreviated week to forget about the loss by maximizing their preparations for the Bengals, who fell to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

The Browns have a perfect opportunity to correct their mistakes in front of a national audience, and the pains from Sunday will be quickly healed and forgotten with a win Thursday.

"I think it's great for us to get back out there right away and get the bad taste out of our mouth," running back Nick Chubb said. "We know what happened last Sunday wasn't who we are or anything like that. We've just got to keep pushing and have a great chance to show it in front of the world."

Chubb, as well as fellow RB Kareem Hunt, will likely be looking for more production after they combined for 132 yards against Baltimore. The two backs ran for a pair of 29- and 22-yard gains on the Browns' lone touchdown drive Sunday but were otherwise kept quiet against the Ravens' defense. Their opportunities were limited later in the game, too, as the Browns attempted to pass their way to a potential comeback and conserve the game clock.

Cleveland likely will look for bigger days from their two feature backs Thursday, though. The Bengals ranked last in rushing defense last season and allowed 155 rushing yards from the Chargers. Even though the Bengals boast two Pro Bowlers up front in DT Geno Atkins and DE Carlos Dunlap, the rushing lanes for Chubb and Hunt could be a bit wider for big runs.

"I think we all know we can run the ball," Chubb said. "We kind of got away from it (Sunday), but running the ball isn't a problem for us here. We've just got to stick to our rhythm."

The Browns made it to the red zone just one time against Baltimore, and part of the reason for the lack of scoring opportunities came from struggles in the passing game. Mayfield is looking to re-establish his connection with WRs Odell Beckham Jr., which stood out during training camp but didn't have the same consistency Sunday.

Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowler, believes their production will continue to improve with more game reps. He also believes the short week is beneficial for the Browns, and he's hungry for more chances to catch the football and help secure the first win of the season after totaling just 22 yards on three receptions in Week 1.

"We've got another big division game coming up," Beckham said, "so we're just flushing it and moving on. We'll just keep pushing. It just comes down to producing and making those plays."

Mayfield is eager for another chance to throw crisp passes to him and the other Browns receivers for a second time this week. The excitement of playing back at FirstEnergy Stadium, where approximately 6,000 fans will be permitted to watch, is even more motivation to turn in a strong performance and earn that first win.

The offense needs to flash to do it, though, and the Browns are confident Thursday will end with a much different result from Sunday.

"There is a ton of room for improvement. It's not just false hopes. It's there," Mayfield said. "Just do your job, go out there and execute and do not have those missed assignments and mental errors."

Related Content