2. Cleveland Browns: Baker’s got the chip
The Cleveland Browns quarterback found himself in a strange position this week, as he played a really good game against the Chargers on the road. That said, he didn’t the job done in the final five minutes.
Mayfield has seven fourth-quarter comebacks to his name, but things are more concerning this time around. This isn’t showing up Hue Jackson or rallying to beat Joe Burrow, rather Mayfield is having difficulties beating the upper-tier quarterbacks. Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert all look like hurdles to a potential Super Bowl berth.
Obviously Browns fans are grateful to have Mayfield, because we know what a quarterback desert looks like. However, there is reason to worry, because this team is built to win now and it has a problem pulling out wins in the final few minutes.
Mayfield hears his critics, particularly ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who said the Browns can’t win the Super Bowl with him under center. Mayfield posted Smith’s quote on on his Instagram story. He didn’t comment or put forth a rebuttal, rather, he put Smith’s words out there to let the world know they exist.
Want more chip? He’s playing against his former Oklahoma teammate Kyler Murray. Mayfield’s college coach was Kliff Kingsbury, who notably didn’t give Mayfield a scholarship at Texas Tech.
Baker’s built a career out of overcoming adversity to reach his goals. It’s when he’s at his best. Now, we’ll see if he can pass his toughest test.