The Cleveland Browns had a much better second half than first in 2018 and quarterback Baker Mayfield pinpoints when things began to turn around for them
There were several points during the 5-3 finish to this past season when the Cleveland Browns looked like a team ready to turn a corner. And for rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, he was able to pinpoint the time when he felt things really started to click for the franchise.
Looking at the way the season unfolded, it would be fair to say that the point Mayfield would have singled out would be their win over the Atlanta Falcons at home. In that game, they were the underdogs but took it to a franchise that was recently representing their conference in the Super Bowl. Or maybe it was the Week 15 victory on the road over the Denver Broncos when the defense held on for a one-point road win.
According to Mayfield, it was actually before either of those games, and it wasn’t in a win at all. In fact, Mayfield says the point he realized there was something good going on for the Browns was in their Week 9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
"“I felt like we had them in the first half. It was really close,” Mayfield said on ESPN’s NFL Live according to Andrew Gribble of ClevelandBrowns.com. “We just had a few plays not go our way. Just to see we were competing at that time, the Chiefs were on a roll. Looking back on it, we realized at that point we have something here.”“That point in the season was really fun.”"
Of course, this was also the first game after firing Hue Jackson and the team was working with interim head coach Gregg Williams and offensive coordinator — and now new head coach — Freddie Kitchens. It also happened to be a 16-point loss as the Chiefs won 37-21.
Even in the defeat, Mayfield felt positive about what the team was doing and as a result, the team went on to win five of their final seven games and came close to making it 6-of-7 as their final game against the Baltimore Ravens ended with a 26-24 defeat.
Still, knowing they could move the ball and score points against playoff teams did wonders for their confidence. It also helped Kitchens land his first head coaching gig in the NFL and gives fans plenty of reason to believe things will keep clicking for this young team in 2019.