Baker Mayfield and the Browns had a massive day against one of the best defenses and even though he lost, he proved he’s capable of being a top quarterback.
Baker Mayfield has arrived. The Browns quarterback traded punches with reigning MVP Lamar Jackson all night, all while taking on the scariest defense the Browns may face all year, and performing as hoped is really all the fans have been asking for. Mayfield took on the Ravens hardcore defense all night and while some pundits want to say that “Mayfield only looked good when the Ravens secondary got banged up”, that’s not true at all.
Firstly, he moved the offense against the defense when they were fully healthy in the first quarter. Secondly, what issues he made, were mostly due to play-calling around him, something Kevin Stefanski took full responsibility for. Yes, Mayfield did throw a pick and while some responsibility lands on Stefanski, some does fall on Mayfield too, that’s no doubt.
Yet, it’s only his eighth interception of the year. He has 23 touchdowns as well, with 2,785 yards, while also completing 62% of his passes. He’s also played very well, or defeated four of the top 15 pass defenses in the league, having thrown for two touchdowns against Washington (3rd), Cowboys (6th), and Colts (13), while also leading a win against the Eagles (9th) while also battling Cleveland’s winter season (Undefeated).
He also torched the Ravens so bad, their pass defense fell from a top-seven pass defense to 16th.
While some want to point out his yards early in the season, you really shouldn’t. The team is a run-first team but out of necessity. Not of a necessity to protect Mayfield, however. No, but out of a need to protect the defense. Mayfield showed against increasingly harder packages and tighter windows, with the game on the line, he can deliver.
Mayfield doesn’t need the playoffs for anyone to wonder if he can play with pressure in his face and on his shoulders. He can. Being a good quarterback isn’t about the yards you throw for, but about the plays you make and no one can deny Mayfield is a ballsy playmaker.
Mayfield ranks 18th in yards, 12th in touchdowns, of QB’s with nine or more starts, he’s tied for 18th in the league for interceptions (Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Matthew Stafford, and Tom Brady are among the many that have thrown more). He’s 9th in QBR, and 12th in quarterback rating.
He’s truly showcased that he’s warranted that 5th-year extension.