Baker Mayfield’s strong numbers for 2020 and first 2 games of 2021
In the second half of the 2020 season plus the first two games of 2021, Mayfield had pretty well figured out how to perform in the Stefanski offense. In those 10 games, he threw12 TDs versus only three picks, and his passer rating averaged over 100 and was trending upward.
By comparison, Joe Burrow’s rating is currently 100.7 (before he went off in Week 16). So Mayfield was reasonably impressive. This isn’t counting the playoff win against Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, in which the Browns trounced the Steelers 48-37. The team does not score 48 points without some contribution from the quarterback.
The season ended with a downer against the Chiefs, who benefited from a ridiculous call, in which a helmet-to-helmet hit on Rashard Higgins was missed, resulting in a fumble out of the end zone which killed a would-be Browns touchdown.
That wasn’t so horrible, was it? Few, if any, Browns fans wanted to run him out of town at that point. While the point is often made that he is not the league’s best quarterback, not every team can have Patrick Mahomes.
It would be nice to have the No. 1 quarterback and have him play for next to nothing on a rookie contract, but that situation may not happen in our lifetime. 31 NFL teams are going to have to try to figure out some other way to win the Super Bowl, and some of those teams are going to be successful a time or two. Sometimes Nick Foles is good enough to get a ring.
Moreover, Mayfield’s first game of 2021 was against the Kansas City Chiefs. So he put up quality numbers versus a quality opponent. Then the Houston Texans, despite the quarterback issues with Deshaun Watson, were capable on defense.
Then came his attempt to make a tackle on an interception in Week 2, resulting in a separated shoulder, torn labrum, and a shoulder brace which has forced him to change his throwing motion.
The numbers for 2021 went south as shown on the next page. They are bad and getting worse.