Baker Mayfield is set to start for the Cleveland Browns against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers on the lake front Sunday afternoon.
Mayfield’s been injured giving all the fans who didn’t get their medical degree in labrums when Kevin Love got injured in the 2015 finals, a chance to finish their studies.
Seriously, though, Mayfield is back and we all wonder what he’s going to look like, considering just one hit may put him back where he was 10 days ago–on the bench watching from the sideline.
I wonder if Mayfield is going to be able to push the ball vertically, because it doesn’t seem like he’s done it all year, save for a throw he hit on to Anthony Schwartz early in the season.
Then, there was this astonishing Mayfield stat: He’s averaging 8.8 intended air yards per throw, according to NFL NextGen stats. This figure measures the distance the ball travels in the air on all passes.
Baker Mayfield slinging it with big names
He’s among the top eight quarterbacks in the league in this category. Lamar Jackson is first (10.8), Josh Allen is second (9.5), Matt Stafford is slightly better than Mayfield (9.0).
The stat goes against the narrative. That said, there’s bad news. Mayfield’s completing 5.8 average air yards per completion–a career low ad down from 7.3 a season ago.
So he’s throwing the ball vertically, he’s just not as accurate as he has been int he past. A deep miss to a wide-open Odell Beckham Jr. against the Vikings comes to mind.
These stats will be worth watching with Jarvis Landry back in the lineup. Mayfield’s played one game with him this season (Week 1). Landry’s the team’s best receiver. Let’s see what he can open up for the vertical passing game.
It’s unclear if Odell Beckham will play Sunday, he’s listed as questionable. If you know how I feel about it, you know I think Mayfield will be better with Beckham on the sideline.