CLEVELAND - Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson is in his seventh NFL season and has yet to celebrate a win in a season opener.
The losing streak reached seven Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles scored a late touchdown to edge the Browns, 17-16, at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Despite the disappointment in the locker room afterwards, Jackson saw a few positive signs.
"The good thing about it was that as I walked into the locker room I saw a lot of guys that you could tell it meant something to them," Jackson said. "The younger guys, they came from programs where they won and they're not used to it (losing), and it's actually a good thing. A lot of those guys were upset about losing."
No one on defense should have been discouraged. Despite giving up 456 yards the unit kept the score close and gave the struggling offense a chance to win the game at the end.
Defensive coordinator Dick Jauron called a brilliant game. Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was intercepted four times and limited to 32 rushing yards on seven carries. It seemed like Vick was hemmed in every time he ran boot action or sprint action. The defense often rushed four and dropped seven into coverage, but they did blitz off the edge with defensive backs several times.
"I give a lot of credit to our defensive line," cornerback Joe Haden said. "I mean, they were in there. Even if he got the ball off, he was getting hit. It wasn't anything dirty. They were in there, and he was off in timing.
"He didn't look comfortable back there. If he was throwing off his back foot or not throwing on time, it's giving us a chance to make plays on the ball."
The defense forced five turnovers, which led to all 16 points. Three of the interceptions were by linebackers - Jackson, rookie L.J. Fort and rookie Craig Robertson. Jackson returned his interception 27 yards for a touchdown.
Jackson was impressed with what he saw of Fort and Robertson.
"I think they rose to the occasion," Jackson said. "Those guys put in the time. Whatever you put in you get out of it. They had a lot of pressure on them. I can't remember my first game because it was a blur. They stepped up, and it's a good sign for us."
Jackson made the most of his pick-six by doing a full flip into the end zone.
"All I know was that I was getting into the end zone," he said. "I wanted to get flight on it. It was cool but it's going to be short-lived. At the end of the day all that matters are wins and losses."