CLEVELAND - Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd was the picture of frustration after Sunday's galling 27-19 loss that featured four red-zone misfires (characteristic) by the 28th-ranked red zone team and 99 penalty yards (uncharacteristic) by the NFL's least penalized team in terms of yardage.
"Nobody can really stop us," said Boyd after the Bengals racked up a season-high 451 yards, 119 more than Cleveland.
"Nobody. Nobody," echoed in the next locker from running back Joe Mixon, who really was unstoppable with a career-high 146 yards on 23 carries.
"Beating ourselves," Boyd said. "We outplayed those guys. Having three points isn't going to win you games."
Neither are those eight penalties, five of them 15-yarders.
"I felt today nothing was going our way," Boyd said after his 75-yard catch day nearly matched the game high of 76 yards receiving by Jarvis Landry. "It's the first time I felt all year the refs were on their side. But like Zac (Taylor) came in and said. You can't worry about what you can't control."
_Mixon apologized to his teammates after he was called for what he thinks is his first unnecessary roughness penalty in the pros with the Bengals leading 3-0 in the first quarter. After his two-yard gain, Mixon did a semi head butt to Browns rookie cornerback Greedy Williams with Williams holding him after the play. On the next play, third-and-23, quarterback Andy Dalton got pick-sixed and it was suddenly 7-3.
"It was my fault. I told everybody that's on me. I'll get it back," said Mixon, who ran over Williams on his first carry of the game, a 26-yarder that was his longest of the day. "I've got to know they were trying to take me out of the game. I've got to know better what they're trying to do."
- Safety Jessie Bates III would have had two interceptions if not for the review. On the review, Bengals cornerback William Jackson III was called for pass interference. A play that early in the season wasn't being called on review is starting to be called.
"You're saying it's unclear?" asked head coach Zac Taylor. "You said it."
"We talked about it in the team meeting room," Bates said of the discipline factor. "We knew they were going to be chirping a lot. We knew they were going to be penalized a lot and unfortunately we were kind of the same team today on the penalty side."
The Browns, who came in with the NFL's most penalty yards, had 30 on Sunday.
- Taylor was asked two things about that failed fourth-and-four from the Browns 4 with 7:20 left and Cleveland leading, 24-16.
Why not a field goal?
"We felt like we were in range there where we needed to score eight points and get us back on track," Taylor said. "If we didn't get it, we were going to have them backed up and get a stop there, which we didn't."
And why a quarterback draw, which did convert a third down on Dalton's six-yard run?
"We had two plays called there," Taylor said. "That's the play we wanted to get to. We should have walked in … Five man box. Two safeties. We have to execute that better."
- Mixon was storming around after he got the first down on fourth-and-one from the Browns 3 midway through the third in a 21-13 game. But on first down from the 2, Dalton was sacked trying to pass and they had to settle for a field goal.
"I mean, I was frustrated that we didn't run it. But at the end of the day, Coach called his call and we have to deliver," Mixon said. "I'm never going to talk bad or talk down on a play call. At the end of the day ... Zac called it and we've got to deliver for him. And we didn't. We didn't execute that play. I'm sure if he probably takes it back, I'm sure it probably would have led to something different. But at the end of the day, what's called is called and we've got to execute. And we didn't do that."
- But Mixon, who also had a career-high 186 total yards, isn't hiding from the Browns.
"The best thing about today," he said, "is we get them (in three weeks) again. We'll be ready in Cincinnati."