By Nick Shook
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The Browns are the only winless team in the NFL. They’ve held leads and have been competitive at times. They’ve also been downright unwatchable.
Hue Jackson was so fed up with his team’s play on Sunday, he took his headset off with just over two minutes left to play. No more play calls, no more strategic discussion, and no more communication with rookie quarterback Kevin Hogan, brought to you by Bose.
To make matters worse, the defeat came at the hands of his former team and boss in Marvin Lewis and the Cincinnati Bengals. This one had to sting a little bit more.
“I don’t like losing, and I can get just like anybody else,” he said. “I can get disappointed and upset just like anybody else. Because I took them off, I knew exactly everything that was going on. I can hear. It wasn’t like I wasn’t involved in the game, but I did.”
Cleveland’s defense was repeatedly gashed by a Bengals offense that racked up 559 yards of total offense. Any time the Browns mounted resistance, the Bengals countered with a bigger, quicker, better play. That alone can be frustrating. Knowing your team is careening toward an 0-7 start in your first season, and there’s little you can do about it, doesn’t help.
Considering this, it’s impressive that Jackson didn’t slam the headset to the ground and smash it to pieces.
“I keep telling you guys — I’m not discouraged; I’m disappointed in losing,” Jackson said. “I’ve never lost like this. But I’m going to find a way (to win), I promise you that. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I’m going to find a way and that’s what we’ve got to do.”
We don’t know when, either, because the road ahead isn’t any easier. Armed with Hogan, or possiblyJosh McCown under center, the Browns return home to host the Jets, who just forced Joe Flacco into two interceptions in a 24-16 win. That might be Cleveland’s best chance to secure a victory in 2016, because after that, the Browns face the Cowboys, Ravens, Steelers, Giants, the bye week (no guarantees there), Bengals, Bills, Chargers and Steelers to finish the season.