3. Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield
I’m getting a little blowback on a piece I wrote about Baker Mayfield failing a franchise quarterback test for his game-sealing interception.
It was a test and Mayfield failed. That said, I think some misunderstand my point of view. I’m pro Baker. If he’s good, then the Browns will be good. But at some point, if we’re going to get serious about finally winning a Super Bowl, the quarterback has to make the play with the money on the line.
The greats pull it out in the end. It’s really that simple and Mayfield didn’t do it–this time. That doesn’t mean he won’t rise to the occasion next time, but I think it’s worth keeping track of these situations because ultimately, having a field general who can finish the mission with under two minutes to go is the difference between just making the playoffs and ending the franchise’s 57-season championship drought.
Mayfield had the Browns going, getting them to around mid-field before forcing a throw as the rush was closing in. With 1:09 remaining, his mistake sealed Cleveland’s fate.
For the day, Mayfield was 21-of-28 passes for 321 yards. He excelled in Kevin Stefanski’s offense, as the coach was misdirecting the Chiefs all day with his mix of passes and runs. For what it’s worth, Mayfield was splendid on some money throws, in which he had to hit Donovan Peoples-Jones and Austion Hooper in the breadbasket to keep the chains moving.
It’s all relative, of course. by Mayfield’s stock is down, for at least a week, anyway. He still doesn’t have a contract extension and he didn’t help himself with the pick at the end of the game.