The Browns lost 38-24 to the Lions on Sunday, dropping their record to 0-9 on the season and leaving the team in search of smaller positives to provide hope in the face of their long losing streak.
Despite an audible at the end of the first half that kept the Browns from putting points on the board, coach Hue Jackson found one in the play of quarterback DeShone Kizer. Jackson said that Kizer “played probably the best game he’s played” during his rookie season.
Kizer was 21-of-37 for 232 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the end zone while trying to mount a last-ditch comeback at the end of the fourth quarter. Kizer was knocked out of the game briefly with a rib injury as well, but returned to continue impressing Jackson.
“He was firing up the offense, the defense and the special teams,” Jackson said, via Cleveland.com. “He was in the game, so the lessons and the conversations that we’ve had, they’re catching on. To me, that’s a good sign. And again, he’s a young player. A young player that’s working at this and trying to get better, but I saw a better version of him today. Is it perfect? No. But I see a guy who is starting to get it and that’s huge.”
Kizer was looking for Ricardo Louis on his interception and Louis had a key drop earlier in that drive, which provided a reminder that Kizer isn’t leading an offense stocked with great receiving options. Corey Coleman is due back soon and Josh Gordon‘s set to play in Week 13, which could set Kizer up for a good finish to the year if he can continue growing as Jackson believes he’s grown in recent weeks.