Lately, with the Cleveland Browns just not quite reaching full throttle, the blame seems to have fallen on Baker Mayfield’s shoulders.
Now, I’m all for everyone having their own opinions, but I just cannot understand this one. For me, Baker Mayfield has been a critical part of turning this organisation around. Let’s appreciate just how much he’s done for Cleveland.
I, like many, thought this was going to be THE GUY to end the Browns slump, and maybe even guide them to their first positive season in years.
However, even from the very start, Baker Mayfield had his doubters.
In his rookie year, Mayfield led The Browns to a 7-8-1 season, their best in 11 years.
Now let’s not forget just how good Baker was during that 2018 season. A total of 3725 total yards, a 63.8% completion rate, and all this with Hue Jackson as his head coach…
He even deserved offensive rookie of the year, but surprisingly the award went to Saquon Barkley.
All in all, a fantastic season, right?
But despite the disgracefulness of the 0-16 season being long behind us, Baker still had his haters?
Second Season Jitters?
After his fantastic 2019 season, everyone wanted to see just how much Mayfield had improved in 2019. The answer? He hadn’t.
Now even myself, a massive Mayfield fan, just hated this season. From start to finish, he just didn’t look comfortable.
It’s safe to say Freddie Kitchens had a major impact on Mayfield, and it’s believed the two simply didn’t have a great relationship, despite them both claiming they did..
During the 16 games, Baker threw for 22 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions. A season he admitted just wasn’t good enough.
Now 2020 was here, and this was make or break for Mayfield. Is this guy really the franchise QB?
The Same Old Browns?
No. This was not the same old Browns.
Freddie Kitchens was gone. John Dorsey was gone.
Coach Kevin Stefanski came in alongside Andrew Berry as GM. Suddenly the whole vibe around the place seemed to just change.. the camp just seemed happier.
The first game against the Ravens didn’t quite go as planned, with a 38-6 loss having fans scratching their heads. The Browns really didn’t play too bad that day, and definitely didn’t deserve to lose 38-6. The signs of improvement were clear for all to see.
We all know how the season went, with the Browns going 11-5 in the regular season to secure playoffs, and for me, this was Mayfield’s best season yet.
He threw 26 touchdowns, but crucially just the 8 interceptions over the 16 regular season games. 13 less than 2019.
Mayfield was awesome against The Steelers during the wildcard weekend, and played very well despite falling short to Kansas City.
Surely every Browns fan was happy now?
Nope. Calls to replace him with Deshaun Watson or Cam Newton soon appeared. Even Aaron Rodgers name was mentioned as Cleveland’s new QB, replacing Mayfield.
Fast forward to the present day, and still Baker Mayfield just cannot catch a break with some Browns fans.
First game – Kansas City – Baker threw for 321 yards, a 75% completion rate, but 0 TD’s.
Second game – Houston Texans – 213 yards from QB1, in a game where The Browns running game blew away the Texans. Oh, and he suffered a partially torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder.
Third game – Minnesota Vikings – Now this is where the haters really started to show, and of course he had a horrific game for the high standards of Baker Mayfield. In a game where The Browns had to really grind in order to get the W, Mayfield threw for just 155 yards, with a completion rate of 45.5%.
Yes, this simply wasn’t good enough. BUT, it’s a game we won. Move on. Plus, his injury was obviously a lot worse than expected.
Mayfield even came out himself and he wasn’t good enough..
Fourth game – LA Chargers – Yes, this was a bitter pill to swallow. There’s no doubting that. However, Mayfield racked up 305 yards for 2 TD’s in the 47-42 defeat.
Despite losing the game, the Browns managed to break all sorts of records. Baker had a season high QB rating of 122.5.
Now, this is where it’s been bugging me.
Surely with the offense scoring 42 points for 532 yards, this has to fall on the defense? Surely?
Nope. Yet again, I see Baker Mayfield being criticised.
It just doesn’t make sense to me? If you score 42 points and lose, that’s simply on the defense?
How can you possibly blame any part of the offense?
Is Baker The Franchise QB?
It all boils down to this question. Is Baker Mayfield good enough to be QB1 for Cleveland?
Yes. Of course he is.
Despite some thoughts and views, I sincerely think Baker Mayfield will be in Cleveland for many years to come, and he’ll only get better and better.
I currently rank him 14th out of the 32 QB’s in the NFL. There are obviously better, however a lot are worse than our guy.
Personally I really like Baker, and think everything will work out for us Browns this year. Currently 3-2, with the two losses being very, very tight.
What do you think of Baker? Love him? Hate him?
Let me know in the comments!