Bryant was quicker to credit a "good game plan" by Houston that kept Cleveland on its heels all afternoon with a blistering ground attack.
"The Texans came out focused and really hungry to win this game," said Bryant, per The Plain Dealer. "I don't think we were really prepared the way we should've been."
Asked to explain, Bryant said the Browns "may have been sitting back a little bit, kind of catching more than we were delivering."
Cleveland was unusually sleepy on offense and fully overwhelmed by defensive terror J.J. Watt, but Mallett also deserves more credit than Bryant would give him.
"I thought you saw those stick throws, the velocity, the accuracy, that was excellent," NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah told NFL NOW after the game.