BEREA, Ohio—The Browns 24-3 thrashing of the Cincinnati Bengals might have come as a surprise to the national television audience, but to the players wearing the brown and orange it didn’t come as a surprise.
“Yeah, to the outside world we believe we opened eyes, but inside our organization and inside our meeting rooms and inside our team this was one of our goals,” Donte Whitner said. “When you set goals, you expect to reach them, especially when you work extremely hard to reach those goals. We’re not surprised, but yeah, maybe we did open up a few eyes outside of our building.”
Mike Pettine said he thinks what he and his coaching staff are teaching, the players are buying in.
“I just think it just further cements what we’re building,” Pettine said. “I know (Thursday night’s win) came as a surprise to people outside, but it didn’t come as a surprise to us. I just think it was a great boost for our confidence.
“As I said (after the game), this is a tight group, and they play hard,” he said. “They play hard for each other. That’s when you know that you’re headed in the right direction when you’re guys play that way.”
Whitner said he can’t put a value on how big the win was for the team.
“It’s huge,” Whitner said. “Any time in the National Football League when you step on the field, you want to have that confidence and you want to step on the field knowing that you’re going to win that football game. I think a win like last night on a national stage in the fashion in which we won the football game – I think you can only breed confidence from that.”
Whitner wasn’t afraid to mention the word “playoffs” with seven games to go.
“We understand that the teams that make it to the playoffs and win and advance are the teams that get hot in November and get hot at the right time,” he said. “We just want to get hot at the right time, and last night was a good start to that.”
No Updates on Injured: Mike Pettine didn’t update any injuries coming out of the Bengals game. He was asked about C Nick McDonald, who was seen in a walking boot. Pettine said it was something with his calf, but it was “more precautionary, than anything.”
He had no updates on DL Phil Taylor (knee) or any other possible injuries. He said he hadn’t met with trainer Joe Shaheen yet. He said he’d update the injury situation on Tuesday when the team returns to practice.
Quick Hitters: The team’s 21-point victory was the club’s largest road win since a 42-14 win at the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 26, 1993… The 21-point win tied for the team’s largest division win since the formation of the AFC North in 2002. The Browns also beat the Steelers by 21 points (31-10) earlier this season on Oct. 12…The win snapped a 14-game stretch in which the Bengals had not lost at home. Cincinnati was 13-0-1 at home entering the game…The Browns have now won three consecutive games for the first time since Week 3-5 in 2013.