Cleveland Browns: Preseason Week 3 instant reactions following ugly loss
Baker and the First Team Struggle Throughout
Simply put, Cleveland Browns second-year Baker Mayfield did not have a good game. Playing the entire first half, Mayfield, as well as the rest of the offense, simply looked out of sync against Tampa Bay.
Drops plagued the receiving corps, especially Derrick Willies during the first half of the game. Mayfield was it able to find the end zone, and his accuracy seemed at least slightly off through most of his playing time.
Mayfield finished the half with his lone interception on the night, an ugly pick with only eight seconds left on the clock. The Browns could have knelt the ball, but the urge to go for broke in the preseason is understandable for Freddie Kitchens.
There is an easy answer as to just why the first-team offense wasn’t able to perform to the standards most Browns fans were expecting. Nick Chubb, Jarvis Landry, and Odell Beckham Jr. all sat out, leaving Rashard Higgins and Jaelen Strong as Mayfield’s top receiving threats.
If the Browns continue to struggle once games matter and everyone is playing, that may be cause for alarm. For now, however, fans should stay calm about the potential of this team’s starting offense.