There were a variety of reasons for the Cleveland Browns players to be upset after Sunday’s 38-24 loss to the lowly Arizona Cardinals.
The reason for running back Kareem Hunt was the lack of consistent effort from his Browns teammates.
“I feel like there were some plays that everybody didn’t leave their 110% out there the whole play through the whole play, through the whole whistle,” Hunt said of the Browns . “And we’ve all got to do that if we want to be successful.”
Browns veteran offensive lineman Joel Bitonio had a similar sentiment after the game.
“We got our butts kicked in all aspects of the game,” Bitonio said. “They came out better than us, we came out flat.
“I think we’ve got to look at each person, look at the individual and see what happened to bring that energy. It’s the National Football League. We’re grown men. You’ve got to be ready to play each and every week. I’ve been in positions where we’ve been 0 and freaking 14 here and you’ve got to be ready to go. It’s your job, there’s pride on the line, no matter what your record is, especially when you have a chance to keep playing games.”
Hunt had 12 touches against the Cardinals — four carries and eight catches. He amassed 76 total yards, but was held out of the end zone. He matched wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for the most catches by a Cleveland player in the game.
Hunt has had five or more catches in four of his six games with the Browns and has been a nice second-option behind Nick Chubb, the league’s leading rusher.
Kareem Hunt Understands Value of Every Play With Browns
Hunt was suspended for the first eight games of the season and very much had his football future in doubt after a video of him kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel was released.
The Browns gave him a second chance on a one-year, no-risk prove-it deal, which has paid off for both parties. Hunt will be a restricted free agent next season. He was counting the day until he got onto the field.
“It’s been 342 days,” Hunt told reporters before his season debut. “You know I’ve been counting down, it’s going to be an emotional game.”
The Browns were slated to have one of the most explosive offensive units in the league, but things have been inconsistent as best as Cleveland now has a very slim chance of making the playoffs at 6-8.
“We’ve got all the pieces and it’s just going out there and playing as a team and everybody playing hard each and every play and no taking plays off or nothing like that and just finishing,” Hunt said. “We’ve got to finish and we’ve got to come out strong, and that’s usually our thing. Usually you get off to a hot start, and shoot, we wait for them to, they hit us in the mouth first.”
David Njoku on Benching: It Is What It Is
One Browns player who was unable to even get on the field was tight end David Njoku, who was a surprise healthy scratch against the Cardinals. In his absence, tight end Ricky Seals-Jones — who the Browns claimed off waivers before the season — recorded two touchdowns against his former team.
“It is what it is. I can’t really say anything upon it because it wasn’t my request, so I’ve just got to keep going,” Njoku told reporters. “We’re still riding till the wheels fall off. We’re working to just do the best we can do to finish strong.”
The Browns have two games remaining against the Ravens and Bengals. This week they’re a 10-point underdog against Baltimore — a team they beat 40-25 in Week 4.