Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield
The Browns starting quarterback has been by far the biggest disappointment on the team. In his fourth season, there were expectations that he’d improve on last year’s strong performance and lead this team further toward a Super Bowl.
Instead, Baker Mayfield has been consistently inconsistent this year leaving fans worn out after each game. That went to a new level after Mayfield fired four interceptions in the loss to the Green Bay Packers this past week, in a game the Browns were again in a good spot to win if their quarterback had played better — and not hurt the team with his careless turnovers.
There have already been five games this season where Mayfield had an opportunity to lead his team to the win in the closing moments of the game. It started in the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1. The Browns controlled that game for a large chunk of time. The team and Mayfield all made mistakes late.
Down less than a score ‚— and with a little under three minutes in the game — Mayfield had his first chance at being the hero. After he guided the offense to midfield with just over a minute to play, he started to fall as he was getting ready to throw the ball, and instead of pulling the ball back and taking the sack, he tried throwing the pass to tight end, Harrison Bryant. That awkward throw was intercepted and ended a game that the Browns should have won.
In a high-scoring game between Cleveland and the Los Angeles Chargers, a few weeks later, Mayfield had another chance to get a come-from-behind win, but yet again it didn’t happen. This loss wasn’t all on Mayfield, as the Browns defense was getting shredded and giving up big play after big play, but Mayfield had another opportunity that faltered at midfield again as he couldn’t get the winning touchdown.
In a big division game back on Halloween, Mayfield had another big opportunity to upend their rival in the Pittsburgh Steelers. Unfortunately, the offense sputtered like most of the year and failed to score the go-ahead touchdown in the last quarter, losing15-10.
The Letdowns for Mayfield have grown and grown this season. Many point to the numerous injuries he’s been playing through as a reason for the mistakes. However, one can’t excuse Mayfield’s issues on the injuries. If he and the team have decided that he can play in these games, then those failures are on the team and Mayfield.
Mayfield’s stat lines are down this season, especially with his touchdowns and interceptions. He’s only thrown 15 touchdowns to his 11 interceptions. Last season he threw 26 touchdowns and only had eight interceptions. The bigger concern has been his reverting back to bad habits, like sketchy footwork in the pocket or throwing the ball high or wide to his receivers. He also doesn’t seem to be seeing his second, third or fourth option in a play and killing any chance of the offense moving with any regularity.
He still has one more season with the team next year and hopefully, he can get things back on a “progressive” path toward stardom. If not, then the Browns may be moving on to another future franchise quarterback.