Key to victory No. 3: Keep Baker Mayfield comfortable
The third key to victory for the Cleveland Browns against the Cincinnati Bengals is to keep Baker Mayfield comfortable, especially in the pocket. Mayfield looked like he doubted a lot of what he was seeing in his first start of 2020. Whether it be the double-clutching on throws, running out of a clean pocket, or trying to force it to Odell Beckham Jr. when in trouble, his lack of composure is a big reason the offense struggled to get any momentum.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski and the rest of the coaching staff need to work on a plan to help keep Baker Mayfield comfortable and poised. While establishing the run and letting that be the primary focus on offense will help, the team can’t just let Mayfield be a game manager. With his skills, he can be a very good quarterback in this league, he just needs confidence in himself and the scheme.
If Stefanski and Mayfield can work together on fixing his confidence issues, they can very well win a lopsided game against the Bengals on Thursday night. Setting up some easy throws early and letting Mayfield roll out on some play-action passes may be something that helps him gain that confidence early.
Should Mayfield find his confidence Thursday, it could not only help the Browns defeat their cross-state division rivals, but it could help turn the narrative on the season that some have already written after just one week.