QB Baker Mayfield
The first player who must step up for the Browns, and quite literally, is quarterback Baker Mayfield. Washington is going to bring the pressure off the edge from Young, 2019 first-round pick Montez Sweat, and former first-rounder Ryan Kerrigan. Washington is going to deploy these attackers from wide off the edge.
As they come wide off the edge, Mayfield can not afford to bail out of a clean pocket as he has done through the first two weeks of the season. He showed more discipline to remain in the pocket, step up, and fire bullets downfield against the Bengals a week ago, and he will need to take another step forward on Sunday. Should he bail, he is going to compromise his protection as they will have no clue where Mayfield is; this could result in a number of sacks and potential risk of injury.
As the season moves along, the key to the success for the Browns has less to do with wins and losses and more to do with the progression of Mayfield in Stefanski’s first year in charge of the team. However, if Mayfield continues to progress, then the wins will follow along shortly after in Cleveland.