CLEVELAND - NaVorro Bowman did not expect Sunday's non-conference matchup with the Cleveland Browns to unfold the way it did.
The Browns rushed for 230 yards, totaled 481 yards of offense and put up 24 points in a two-touchdown victory over the visiting 49ers.
"It's embarrassing the way that we lost," said Bowman, who recorded five tackles in defeat.
"Because we go to work every single day," the linebacker reasoned. "We spend all these hours at work. We get the corrections right as the week goes on, and to come out here and not execute the way we have the whole week – I don't know the answer to that."
San Francisco did not solve the play-making of Cleveland quarterback Johnny Manziel, who threw for 270 yards and extended several downs with his well-known improvisational skills.
"You know their team was going to rally around him," Bowman said. "He completed probably every ball that he got out of the pocket."
The biggest issue for the 49ers defense proved to be stopping the run. Although San Francisco intercepted Manziel to thwart a second-quarter scoring drive and forced a first-quarter fumble to end another Cleveland possession, the Browns had no issue churning out yards on the ground.
Isaiah Crowell set career-high numbers on the day with 20 carries for 145 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
When asked to assess the defensive breakdowns, Bowman, the team captain, handled the question thoughtfully.
"I'm not into the pointing-finger game," he said. "There's 11 guys out there, and we have our defensive staff. If something happens, we all have to live with the result."
Following the frustrating loss, players in the locker room were asked to explain the performance and why the team couldn't build off last week's road victory over the Chicago Bears.
Bowman's take on the subject was that individual players are responsible for getting themselves ready to play.
"This is your job," Bowman said. "You must be prepared. You must be ready. You know the games are coming every single week. It's an individual thing to bring your own energy."
The defensive leader reiterated that nothing is given in professional football. Even teams with seven-game losing streaks, like the Browns, will be determined to win on gameday.
"You want to instill the consistency that you have come ready to play every single week in the NFL," Bowman said. "It's obvious that we don't understand the consistency that you have to have in this league.
"It's our job to get it right."
When asked to comment on the direction of this year's team, now 4-9 in the record books, Bowman pointed to the strides made in past weeks.
"I think the team is going in the right direction," he said. "I just think we fell short in the games that would possibly get us over that hump. You see the talent that we have.
"We're just a team fighting throughout the season, (and we can't) let this happen next week."
The opportunity to correct what was displayed in Cleveland will come against another AFC North foe. The Cincinnati Bengals will travel to the Bay Area to face the 49ers in Week 15.
"We just have to keep at it and stick together as a team and not point any fingers," Bowman said.