CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The losses mount, now nine in a row to start the season.
And as the Cleveland Browns' losses add up, so do the questions about zero wins, and so does the pressure, and so does the negativity as the Browns face the reality that a loss in Baltimore on Thursday night would give them the worst start in team history.
"Trying to stay positive," left tackle Joe Thomas said. "But it's difficult."
"It is tough," cornerback Joe Haden said. "It is super-tough. We don't play these games to lose. We don't prepare during the week to lose. Nobody does."
But now that Dallas has given the Browns loss No. 9, a 35-10 drubbing Sunday, the pressure to win the next game increases.
"Every loss that stacks up makes it tougher," Thomas said. "In the end you try to remain positive and get yourself ready for a game, and the best way to do that is to remain positive. But it definitely gets harder every time you lose."
An 0-9 start matches the team's worst. The last time it happened was 1975. One more loss and the Browns have the worst start in the team's 66-year history.
Coach Hue Jackson has talked each week about the team improving and playing hard, but he knows that he needs to validate the talk -- and the work -- with a win.
"There is not going to be anything else," Jackson said. "There are no other players that are going to walk in here. The first place I am going to look to is us as coaches and as leaders. Then we have to continue to keep getting our players better, make sure we put them in the best situations that we can, and hopefully, we can make some of those plays down the stretch."
Players said it's important to focus on each week as opposed to the record, but the longer the streak goes the more difficult that is to do.
Already the Browns have set a team record by losing 12 in a row going back to last season.
"We really just have to stay together," safety Tracy Howard said.
"The best thing we can do is rally everybody on the team to keep fighting, not make excuses, show up each week and put our best effort forward to try and get our first W," guard John Greco said.
"Hey, we got to take the punches," linebacker Chris Kirksey said. "Get back up and keep fighting. That's life. We're not going 0-16. We're not going to go winless. We're going to win a game."
"We don't want to be the team with no wins at the end of the season," said cornerback Tramon Williams. "That's the motivation."
Thomas said the team simply has to ignore the outside noise. But quarterback Josh McCown said last week that dealing with a winless record this late in the season is "probably the hardest (challenge)" a team can face.
"You can't look at the record or dwell on the losses," Thomas said. "But it does get harder."
"We have to stand up," Haden said. "We have to step up. It is us. There is nobody else that can do anything but the players on the field."