Dud: Baker Mayfield
Quarterback Baker Mayfield did not get off on the right foot to start the 2020 season. In fact, he threw an interception on the opening drive of the year, which is a terrible omen. In his defense, the ball got tipped at the line of scrimmage by All-Pro Calais Campbell, but it was a mistake nonetheless.
After a sophomore season that included 21 interceptions, the hope would be Mayfield would come into the new season with more caution and accuracy and significantly decrease turnovers. Having an interception on the first drive was an absolute moral crusher. That turnover may have killed a lot of the players’ positive attitude entering the game. It seemed like the confidence level decreased after the early pick.
Mayfield finished with only 189 yards on 21-of-39 passing with one touchdown and one interception. That is far too little production on that many attempts. He has to be the leader of the offense and be much more productive in order for the Browns to win games. He is already under the microscope after 21 interceptions last season, so he is going to have to keep the turnovers low if he wants to avoid backlash from fans and media.
No. 6 did appear to be more mobile and in better shape yesterday than he was last season. That is a positive that will help him avoid sacks and extend the play. The bottom line is however, he has to be more accurate and make better decisions. Look for him to be much improved Thursday against the Bengals.
The Browns need to bounce back Thursday to avoid going 0-2 especially since both games are in the division. Hopefully, the star players make plays and bring home the W in First Energy Stadium.