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Jacoby Brissett: “I haven’t lost trust in myself”

Browns quarterback working to shake off late game miscues than have plagued him this season.

Los Angeles Chargers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett has played well enough through the first five weeks of the season that the Browns could realistically be 5-0.

If only NFL games lasted 58 minutes instead of 60.

Brissett’s individual stats may not be overly impressive - he is 19th in passing yards, 17th in passing touchdowns, 17th in completion percentage and 20th in quarterback rating - but he has still overseen an offense that is sixth in scoring and the league’s best in rushing, which should equate to more than five wins.

If only NFL games lasted 58 minutes instead of 60.

All the blame for Cleveland’s 2-3 record does not fall at the feet of Brissett or the offense, of course, not when the defense spends each week struggling to cover receivers, tackle ball carriers, or make more than a cursory attempt to stop the run.

But even though Brissett has been better than expected for the first 58 minutes of each game, those final few minutes have proven costly as he has thrown an interception against the New York Jets in Week 2 with six seconds remaining, the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4 with 1:03 on the clock, and the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 5 with 2:55 left on the clock.

Those are also the three games the Browns have lost, all in part because Brissett made a crucial mistake at or near the end of the game.

To his credit, Brissett hasn’t tried to shift the blame and on Wednesday said he is not down on himself (quote via a team-provided transcript):

“It is something that is part of the game that obviously trying to work on and get better at. Listen, clearly I haven’t lost trust in myself or confidence in myself to go out there, continue to make plays and being smart and taking care of the ball, which I feel like I do. There is no scientific answer. It is just don’t do it. Just really focusing in those moments because the ball is in my hand, and it is not like I lost trust in myself or anything of that nature.”

Brissett has been better than expected each week for 58 minutes, but those final few minutes have continued to vex him more often than not.

If he can get that situation cleaned up, then the Browns have a chance to be in a good position when Deshaun Watson takes over on December 4.

If not? Then the games between now and then are going to continue to have Browns fans sweating out the last few minutes and the final six games will be rendered meaningless.