5. A quicker offense
Following the Browns’ historic win, coach Hue Jackson talked about how he felt the offense was moving quicker with Mayfield in charge, via ESPN.
"“It felt like it was moving quicker. It felt like that position was playing quicker. Seeing things very clearly and the ball was coming out of his hands,” Jackson said."
You didn’t need to be an NFL scout or coach to recognize that everything was quicker with Mayfield in the game.
He got rid of the ball quicker. His throws get to receivers quicker. Holes in the running game opened quicker.
Think about it in terms of boxing. Light up your opponent with a combo so quickly that he doesn’t know what’s coming next.
And Baker gets it:
"“You want to put them [the other team] on their heels. When you do that, the offense builds confidence. The defense will see that. They start to build that confidence as well. The crowd gets into it. When you get all three phases like that, it is pretty tough to stop.”"
With Mayfield in the game, the Browns offense had rhythm, and that changed what looked like a familiar outcome of the franchise disappointing their fans, yet again.
Even left guard Joel Bitono commented on how the Browns were more in rhythm with Mayfield directing the offense.
The decision to not start Mayfield from the onset undoubtedly has all puzzled, because he’s clearly the superior talent to Taylor.
And yes, there was the plan for Taylor to start and for Mayfield to learn. But that plan involved Taylor winning games, which he wasn’t accomplishing.
There’s debates as to whether a rookie should start from day one, or ride the bench for a year, a la Patrick Mahomes.
In truth, there is no right way.
Despite what Sashi Brown’s analytics might try to tell you, football is a game about people because the game sets the stage for so much human emotion to come pouring out.
You’ve got to be able to look at a someone and decide whether or not that person can play.
Baker Mayfield looks like he can play, just as Carson Wentz did during the 2016 season. Sam Darnold looks to have promise, but it appears that he may benefit from a year on the bench. The same could be said of Josh Rosen after watching his debut.
So, we had to wait 2 1-2 games for the Bakery to open. At least the day’s finally here.