Kitchens acknowledged bad play calling after the Browns' 20-13 setback Sunday in Los Angeles. The Browns (1-2) held a 6-3 lead at halftime and held a 13-10 advantage in the third quarter, before surrendering the lead at the start of the fourth quarter. Cleveland had several questionable play calls down the stretch.
"I would say, I have to do a better job during the course of the week of putting these guys in better situations and then on game day," Kitchens told reporters. "If you are looking to blame somebody, blame me.
"Do not blame any of our players. Do not blame any of our other coaches. Just blame me because I can take it. Just blame me. Go write your article and say that I messed the game up. Go write your article and say that it is my fault that things are not looking like it did last year because it is."
Kitchens said one of his "bad calls" was the Browns' decision to call a delayed handoff on a 4th and 9 play with 10 minutes remaining in the game. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield handed the ball to running back Nick Chubb at the 40-yard line. Rams defenders smothered Chubb at the line of scrimmage before he managed to gain just two yards on the play.
The Rams (3-0) took possession after the turnover on downs. Greg Zuerlein then made a 37-yard field goal to give Los Angeles their final six-point advantage.
"Bad call," Kitchens said. "Yes, I wanted that call ... It just didn't work. It was a bad call."
Mayfield said the Browns have to do their job and execute the play calls when pressed about the decisions. The Browns quarterback ended the game with an interception while at the Rams' 4 yard line.
"I know what you guys are going to try to do is blame the play calling, but that is why I said execution is the most important thing. Whatever we have called, we have to do our job," Mayfield said.
Mayfield completed 18 of 36 passes for 195 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the loss. He has completed 56.9 percent of his throws for 805 yards, three scores and five interceptions on the season. Rams quarterback Jared Goff completed 24 of 38 passes for 269 yards, two scores and two interceptions in the win. Goff is completing 62.9 percent of his throws for 738 yards, for scores and three interceptions this season.
"Don't hit the panic button," Mayfield said. "I think we realize how close we are, but that is the frustrating part. We can't have continued mistakes -- the same thing over and over again. We have to do our job. Have to hit the reset button. Look at the film. Learn from it.
"I think we improved in a lot of areas, but when you play a team like that, the little mistakes will get you. We have to eliminate that. Next week we have another good opponent that is playing well right now."