Baker Mayfield as 2019 passing leader is no Super Bowl guarantee

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 14: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns throws a pass second quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 14: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns throws a pass second quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Browns and Baker Mayfield may have one of the most potent passing attacks in the NFL in 2019, but that does not guarantee they will win the Super Bowl.

Over the last two seasons, Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey has aggressively upgraded the team’s passing attack to the point where the Dawg Pound and other football experts are (loudly) whispering Super Bowl.

Even the odds makers must agree, given that since wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has joined quarterback Baker Mayfield and slot receiver Jarvis Landry and company, there are only four teams with better odds than the Browns of bringing home a ring next season: Chiefs, Patriots, Saints and Rams.

[pause for Holy Shytes]

But get this – according to a tweet from NFL Research, no team in the history of the NFL who has led the league in passing yards that season has EVER won the Super Bowl.

Let that sink in, Browns fans.

The NFL’s passing leader has never won a Super Bowl. In other words, every quarterback who has led the NFL in passing yards during the regular season and gone on to play in the Super Bowl has LOST.

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Six incredible league-leading quarterbacks have had the chance to end that streak:

  • 2017 season: New England Patriot Tom Brady, lost Super Bowl LII to the Philadelphia Eagles, 33-41
  • 2012 season: Denver Bronco Peyton Manning, lost Super Bowl XLVIII to the Seattle Seahawks, 8-43
  • 2006 season: New England Patriot Tom Brady, lost Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants, 14-17
  • 2002 season: Oakland Raider Rich Gannon, lost Super Bowl XXXVII to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 21-48
  • 2001 season: St. Louis Ram Kurt Warner, lost Super Bowl XXXVI to the New England Patriots, 17-20
  • 1984 season: Miami Dolphin Dan Marino, lost Super Bowl XIX to the San Francisco 49ers, 16-38

Now there’s no reason (except historical) that Mayfield can’t be the first exception to that rule in 2019. But even if he is, without a solid running attack to counter the passing game, there will be no Lombardi Trophy.

And fortunately for the Browns, Dorsey’s nobody’s fool.

Thanks to JD, running backs Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson (for now) and eventually Kareem Hunt will be there to provide the other side of the Super Bowl equation.

Are they up for it?

Last season…

…23-year-old Chubb had 212 touches and 1,145 yards from scrimmage with 10 touchdowns, averaging 5.4 yards per touch.

…25-year-old Johnson had just 87 touches but he turned that into 630 yards from scrimmage with three touchdowns, averaging 7.2 yards per touch.

…23-year-old Hunt only played in 11 games, but he had 207 touches and 1,202 yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns, averaging 5.8 yards per touch.

Had Hunt maintained that production for a full season, he would have ended up with about 300 touches for 1,750 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns.

Boy, that Cleveland halfback salad’s sure gotta whole lotta produce.

Add to that a field goal kicker, Greg Joseph, who last season in his rookie year kicked with better accuracy (85 percent) than the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots’ great Stephen Gostkowski (84 percent).

And with safety and 28th ranked punt returner Jabrill Peppers gone, along with his 8.8 yards per return average, speedy receiver Antonio Callaway now has a chance to get more reps. Last season Callaway had five punt returns for 61 yards, which broke down to 12.2 yards per return, ranked 12th.

Just sayin’.

For the first time in a long time, the Cleveland Browns don’t need a quarterback, a wide receiver or pass rushers from the draft, so they can focus on the players that will fill the few roster gaps that still remain – safety, linebacker, cornerback, maybe some more O-line depth.

That’s the kind of freedom that having franchise play-makers already on your roster buys you.

Imagining Baker Mayfield tossing dimes to OBJ and Landry and Callaway and Johnson and Njoku is serious hardcore football porn, but without the solid rushing attack and special teams Dorsey has also assembled, the Browns would be limp. Meaning one-dimensional, and therefore easily stoppable.

Next. Browns felt 17th overall selection was a 2nd round pick. dark

But with the powerful and balanced 2019 roster Dorsey is busy putting together, it looks like the time to start (loudly) whispering sweet postseason nothings into the ears of the AFC North and the rest of the league is now.

Let that sink in, Browns fans.

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