1. Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield
The more Baker Mayfield games plays without a contract extension, the more scrutiny he’s going to receive for games in which the Cleveland Browns win in spite of him, not because of him.
That was the case on Sunday, as Mayfield missed throws aiming too high to a wide open Kareem Hunt in the end zone, and then with Odell Beckham Jr. on an island late in the fourth quarter streaking down the right sideline.
He was criticized for not stepping up in the pocket and running too soon.
Mayfield knows he’s was terrible. He admitted as much after the game. The stats were grim with Mayfield completing 15 of his 33 throws for 155 yards. He didn’t throw a touchdown, but didn’t commit any turnovers, either. His QB rating was 59.
At this point, everything is a franchise quarterback test for the former No. 1 overall pick. It’s hyperbole to say “A franchise quarterback should’ve completed those passes to Hunt and Beckham,” but a franchise quarterback should have made those throws!
A part of me wonders if the score would’ve been any different had Case Keenum been in the game. It seems crazy to write. Maybe it is, but no one is paying Case Keenum $40 million annually.
Mayfield’s got to start playing better, and fast.