Baker Mayfield posting W’s but not stats

Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns, Baker Mayfield
Cleveland Browns, Baker Mayfield. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Running the ball in 2020 in the NFL

The Browns are a throwback to the days of Bernie Kosar, Kevin Mack, and Earnest Byner. They really are committed to the run, which is one of the reasons Baker Mayfield is not accumulating major passing statistics this season.

Other teams talk about it, but the Browns really do it. The Browns stay on the ground roughly 53 percent of the time (sacks are not counted as passing plays; while deliberately throwing the ball to avoid a sack is counted as a passing play, so go figure). The dependence on the ground game also results in few offensive snaps, and thus less wear and tear on the linemen. There may be some method to this madness quite beyond fantasy football.

The other teams that run more often than pass, according to, are the Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, and Stefanski’s former team, the Minnesota Vikings. Other teams that are close to 50-50 are the Tennessee Titans at 49 percent running plays, Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams, and Arizona Cardinals at just over 45 percent running plays.

At any rate, Mayfield has fewer passing attempts than average. The NFL average is currently 35 pass attempts per game, and this season the Browns (Mayfield plus a few cameos from Case Keenum and Jarvis Landry) are averaging only about 28 attempts per game. The Ravens, Vikings, and Browns are all separated by fractions of a decimal point from being tied for the fewest pass attempts per game.

Just because the Browns operate a run-first offense does not mean that expectations are lowered, however. Versus Philadelphia, Mayfield didn’t have a great game, missing on some throws to open receivers. On a rainy day, the ball is slick and completion percentages suffer. Cold weather offenses tend to perform better by running the football, which is what the Browns did.

Still, we would like to see Mayfield continue to keep the interception totals low, and completion percentage high. In that regard, Mayfield’s interception percentage is currently 2.6 percent, lower than in his previous two seasons.  n the run-first offense, Mayfield may underperform stat-wise compared to other quarterbacks in fantasy football.

Is there something wrong with scoring on the ground that violates someone’s artistic sensibilities or what?

For that matter, if they win with defense and the offense is below average, is there something wrong with that? Or does the offense have to be dominant each time or it does not count?