Fred Warner on 49ers loss to Browns: 'They earned it, we didn't'

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

53. 49ers Browns final. 17. 42. Final. 19

Linebacker Fred Warner offered a candid and brutally honest answer about why the 49ers lost to the Browns despite being so heavily favored.

The San Francisco 49ers were nearly double-digit betting favorites for their Week 6 road game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

That, despite the Niners having to travel across the country for an early game and despite coming off a whirlwind of a victory in prime time over the Dallas Cowboys the week before.

Still, the trap game that unfolded into a 19-17 Browns victory over San Francisco was made sour for more than just a few reasons, especially considering Cleveland was starting its third-string quarterback, P.J. Walker, and was without All-Pro guard Joel Bitonio because of injury.

It'd be easy for the 49ers to blame the officiating (it was bad), and it'd be easy for quarterback Brock Purdy and Co. to blame the poorish weather (it also was bad).

However, let's turn to the Niners' defensive leader, linebacker Fred Warner, for some reason and logic at such a tough moment.

Fred Warner says Browns 'earned it,' points out 49ers will 'learn from it'

It wasn't hard to see how Cleveland slowly and methodically pulled momentum away from San Francisco following its touchdown-scoring opening possession that kept running back Christian McCaffrey's scoring streak alive another week.

It's also possible to see the many mistakes the 49ers made along the way, too, including two missed field goals by kicker Jake Moody.

That one at the end? Brutal. Had he made it, the Niners are likely still 6-0 and considerably happier on the flight home.

Nevertheless, Warner told reporters that San Francisco "needed this game" to truly be "battle tested" in such a setting against a top-ranked Browns defense in a hostile environment.

Additionally, Warner isn't blaming Moody. No, the All-Pro pointed out many of those missed chances and gaffes on the 49ers' part:

"They earned it, and we didn't," Warner said. "That's what it came down to in this game. I would never put it on Moody at the end there. It's great we had an opportunity to win that in that fashion, but we didn't earn it. They earned it today."

Sometimes, the simplest answer is the right one. And it's pretty clear the Niners didn't earn it at all, whereas Cleveland did.

"We learn from it, watch the tape, look at it hard internally, and be better from it," Warner added.

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