Baker Mayfield made huge strides in Week 2
Despite a rough performance for Baker Mayfield against the Baltimore Ravens in the season opener, the Cleveland Browns third-year quarterback bounced back in a big way against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football.
After two weeks, Mayfield’s total quarterback rating (Total QBR), a metric built to more fully evaluate QB play, has improved to 80.2, the ninth best score in the NFL. Currently, Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson is just one spot ahead of him with an 80.8.
Total QBR has never claimed to be a perfect metric, but it incorporates all of a quarterback’s contributions to winning, including how he impacts the game by passing, rushing, turnovers and penalties.
In Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Mayfield had the NFL’s highest Total QBR at 98.1. Jared Goff was second at 95.9 in his second game.
During Mayfield’s record-breaking rookie 2018 campaign, he only put up a 51.2 Total QBR, slotting him at No. 23 in the NFL. Last season, despite the interceptions and headaches, Mayfield showed improvement, ranking No. 19 overall with a 54.4 grade.
While Total QBR doesn’t paint the whole picture, and Mayfield has a lot of room to grow, the numbers prove that he is continuing to develop in his third season.
In Week 2, Mayfield looked more comfortable and accurate in the pocket, getting through his progressions and finding open receivers, something he struggled to accomplish against Baltimore. Even with Mayfield’s late-game interception, targeting rookie tight end Harrison Bryant on a deep ball, Mayfield was able to improve his overall score.
With Kevin Stefanski at the helm utilizing play-action and rolling out the pocket, Mayfield’s third season should see more comfortability playing the position, wins and improving numbers.
On Sunday, Mayfield has another opportunity to boost his rating even further as the Browns host the Washington Football Team. A win would put the Browns above .500 for the first time since 2014.