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The Cleveland Browns are hoping they don’t hear boos Thursday night when they play their division rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers, at home.
But after their performance against the New York Jets, which resulted in an awful loss in the last seconds of the game, second-year cornerback Greg Newsome II couldn’t blame the fans.
After the game Sunday, defensive end Myles Garrett said he was disappointed fans were booing the team.
“It was not the most optimal ending that we’d want,” he told News 5 Cleveland. “Of course we’d want to win. …We have a lot of time to correct what we’re doing, so we don’t want to see this crowd, this stadium give up on us this early. We want to see them completely behind us. And it’s disappointing for everybody, but it’s absolutely disappointing for us as a team.”
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Newsome, on the other hand, saw a different side of things.
“I know the fans did boo. I would have booed too after a loss like that too,” he said.
The Browns lost in disastrous fashion. Running back Nick Chubb scored a touchdown that put the Browns up by two scores with one minute and 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter. All the Browns had to do was play conservative yet tight defense, but they couldn’t get the clock to zero.
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Instead, Jets wide receiver Corey Davis scored a quick touchdown on a long pass from quarterback Joe Flacco that brought the Jets within six points. Then, on the ensuing onside kick, Justin Hardee, the Jets’ special teams weapon, recovered the ball for a game-winning drive.
Rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson caught a pass from Flacco in the middle of the field for a touchdown, and the extra point was good to put the Jets up 31-30 with 22 seconds left. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett threw an interception to end any potential game-winning field goal situation.
“They’re obviously disappointed,” veteran offensive lineman Joel Bitonio said. “I’ve been here nine years now, and I’ve been booed at least once every year, if not more as a team. They put their hard-earned money in support of the team, and they were frustrated and they were disappointed, just like we were frustrated and disappointed.”
Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah even called it “a righteous move” by the fans because he’s “a tough love type of guy.”
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“My message to the fans is just to stick with us,” Newsome said. “It was Week 2, we’re 1-1, obviously I feel like we should have been 2-0, but it’s a long season. We’re going to need them, especially down the stretch and especially right now. So, stick with us, and we’ll make them proud by the end of the season.”
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It starts with an early turnaround after the bad loss. And the Steelers are hoping to reverse their fortunes after last week’s loss to New England.