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Donte Whitner on loss: Playoff teams win these games

CLEVELAND -- Observed and heard in the locker room after the Cleveland Browns' 25-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts:

Playoffs slipping away: Camouflaged behind the Cleveland quarterback drama or the drama of the Colts' wild win or the Browns' offensive struggles is a simple fact -- playoff chances are dwindling. The 7-6 Browns, who last made the playoffs after the 2002 season, are in last place in the AFC North by a full game. That fact is not lost on the Browns, especially after the Colts drove 90 yards in the final minutes to negate a brilliant defensive performance. "Playoff teams win these games," safety Donte Whitner said. "That's the bottom line."

No throwing under the bus: Players aren't calling for Johnny Manziel from the bullpen. The Browns' defense outscored the offense 14-10 but players didn't find ways to rip the offense. The Browns have won seven games in part because they have a cohesive locker room. Asked if he expects Brian Hoyer to be benched after another rough performance, tight end Jordan Camreon said flatly, "No."

Josh Gone-don: Browns receiver Josh Gordon was not available in the locker room after the game. There were things to discuss -- why the Browns phased him out of the offense on third downs, Hoyer's Hail Mary in the final minute that Gordon almost caught, how he hurt himself on the fall. Gordon cost the Browns a timeout by creating a stoppage in play while appearing to lay in pain by the sideline.

Browns address controversial calls: Several close calls went against the Browns, including Buster Skrine's pass interference on tight end Dwayne Allen that cost 35 yards late in the game and defensive end Paul Kruger's illegal hit on quarterback Andrew Luck that Kruger didn't understand. "I didn't think I hit him at all with my helmet," Kruger said. "I usually [extend my hands first] if it's a clean, free rush. I usually try to push him." Skrine said he was surprised by the interference call.

Quote of note: "They all stink. We work really hard." -- Kicker Billy Cundiff on what it felt like to miss the 40-yarder in the second quarter, his fifth miss in as many games.