Cleveland Browns: 3 takeaways from the loss to the Colts

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns remain winless after Sunday’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Here are a few things that stood out from the disappointing loss.

The Cleveland Browns went to Indianapolis as favorites and head home with an 0-3 record. Oh how narratives change.

The Browns were favorites on the betting lines but it was clear this game was more evenly matched than we made it out to be. Jacoby Brissett starting at quarterback for the Colts helped sway the lines in the Browns’ favor, but the Colts may have been the better team all along.

The Colts took a 28-14 lead into halftime and even though the final score was 31-28, the game was never in doubt.

DeShone Kizer hurt his team with interceptions once again, although eight drops from the receivers didn’t help his cause. That’s right, eight drops.

We will have specific offensive and defensive takeaways coming this week, but for now let’s look at a few overall storylines that stood out on Sunday.

A receiving corps in shambles

Duke Johnson, a running back, led the Browns today with six catches for 81 yards. Kenny Britt was second with three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown, but he did have a drop that led to an interception.

The best catch of the game came courtesy of Jordan Leslie, who pulled down a one-handed grab in his first game with the Browns after originally being cut in favor of bringing in three new receivers, none of whom have made any notable contributions on offense this year.

Corey Coleman breaking his hand was a sign that things would be rough, but eight drops is just inexcusable. This group is just flat-out not good, although there have been positive flashes.

Britt pulled down a nice touchdown catch while Seth DeValve is evolving into a reliable target for Kizer. But the drops are what stand out from Sunday, and that is an ominous sign moving forward.

What 0-3 means

Hue Jackson is in a bad place right now. He sports a 1-18 record with the Browns and may be getting that sick feeling he felt last season when the losses kept on piling up week after week.

This team was never going to the playoffs, but starting the year with three losses essentially eliminates even the false hope of being a contender, which is not good for a young team.

Jackson has always been able to be optimistic in the face of bad results and keep his guys motivated, but there is only so much he can say before wins are all that makes the difference.

I don’t believe his job is in any danger, at least not yet, but another loss next week and the rumblings will start up again.

Kizer playing like a rookie

DeShone Kizer spoiled us all with a great NFL debut in Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since then he has thrown six interceptions in the past two games and continues to hold onto the ball for far too long.

This should be expected out of a rookie, no matter how much Jackson talked him up heading into the season.

The interceptions are frustrating and preventable, but Kizer is learning on the job. Perhaps things may have gone smoother if he was named the starter before the third week of the preseason.

The NFL is a sport where storylines can change drastically from week to week, meaning we could all be celebrating a great performance one week from now. As long as he doesn’t turn the ball over next week, there is no reason why the Browns can’t have a shot to beat the Bengals.

Next: Browns lose to Colts, 31-28

There I go with the optimism again.