3. Baker Mayfield
Stock down? Baker Mayfield? Maybe it’s unfair, but it’s not like he blew me away, either. Really, his stock stayed even..but hear me out….
First off, credit where credit is due. Mayfield made some big plays in the third quarter, especially connecting with Odell Beckham for 15 yards on a 3rd and 12 play that kept the chains moving in the second half.
He was an efficient 16-of-23 for 156 yards and two scores. He wasn’t asked to do much, thanks to Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, who combined to rush for over 150 yards.
But the third quarter aside, I thought Mayfield was just king of “meh.” He was carried by the rushing attack, yet again, in addition to Washington and Dwayne Haskins begging the Browns to win by committing five turnovers.
The most alarming part of Mayfield’s game comes when he’s in the pocket. He starts dancing around like someone who’s never danced before and be bails out too early. When he sticks in the pocket, his throws are often inaccurate and he still holds onto the ball way too long.
Then when he rolls out—what he does best—a couple throws got away from him. One sailed over the head of Beckham in the first half, and another out of the reach of Austin Hooper.
On the flip side, he threw a beautiful ball to Harrison Bryant on the same type of play later in the game.
Maybe Mayfield’s stock shouldn’t be down and this should just serve as a warning. He managed the game and most importantly, he and the Browns won—a statistic that should never be downplayed for starting quarterbacks, especially in Cleveland.
But eventually, Mayfield’s going to play better teams and he’s going to have to make throws consistently. He may get that test next week against the Cowboys.