Baker Mayfield had a chance to lead the Cleveland Browns to victory against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, but instead, the Week 1 matchup ended in heartbreak, with the fourth-year quarterback tossing a game-ending interception.
Mayfield played well for the majority of the game but the interception opened him up to criticism following the matchup. Colin Cowherd, his media archnemesis, didn’t wait long to dance on his grave.
“I thought the Browns outplayed the Chiefs in the first half. Great playcalling, running the football, allowing Baker to make a handful of nice throws and manage the game. As the game went on, Baker was given the football to win the game and that’s a tough place to win — a packed Arrowhead, very loud,” Cowherd said. “But that’s the difference. We know Baker is good enough to win the game if he has the offensive line, the right coach and the run game. Most quarterbacks could manage their way to wins. That last drive, that’s how you get a $250 million contract. That’s when you want Mahomes with the ball, not Baker Mayfield.”
Cowherd was hardly the only person not hurl insults Mayfield’s way.
“Browns fans try so hard to convince you Baker Mayfield is good and his detractors try so hard to convince you he’s bad that it obscures the fact he’s fundamentally average,” Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway tweeted. “Average arm strength, accuracy, average decision making, average speed. average. forever the 16th best QB.”
The slander kept coming, especially from rivals of the Browns.
“I truly hope the Browns give Baker Mayfield a mega deal. Nothing would make me happier. No touchdowns and a pick in the most critical point of the game,” Kraig Riley of 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh tweeted. “Please pay that man. Lock him up.”
Mayfield is up for an extension soon and will likely land among the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league if he can maintain his level of play. His draft-mate Josh Allen signed a six-year, $258 million extension worth a maximum of $288 million this offseason with the Buffalo Bills. Mayfield threw for 321 yards in the loss.
Baker Mayfield: ‘This One Stings’
The Browns seemed to be in control of the game for the first half, and even a good part of the third. However, multiple errors — including the Mayfield pick — gave Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs too much to work with.
“We didn’t play our best when it mattered. We didn’t coach our best when it mattered,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said.
A somber Mayfield said after the game that he was trying to throw the ball away and avoid the sack but just didn’t get enough on it.
“It’s very frustrating. But that’s what happens in this league,” Mayfield told reporters. “You have to do the little things and play a full four quarters. I think there are 16 more of these but this one stings and it should.”
Myles Garrett Backs Baker Mayfield
The Browns defense managed to stop the Chiefs and get the ball back for the offense thanks to a big sack from Myles Garrett — his first of the season.
“I thought [Baker] and those guys were going to take it home,” he said, before throwing support behind his QB. “I’ll ride with [Mayfield] to wherever he takes us.”
That being said, Garrett thinks the team needs to regroup and realize to put away good teams they have to play four full quarters.
“Doesn’t sit well. It was our game the first half and we let off the gas,” Garrett told reporters. “We didn’t execute. We didn’t execute like we were supposed to on offense and defense and they took advantage of that.”
The Browns have a chance to rebound on September 19 against the Texans in a matchup that they should be a hefty favorite in. Houston won its opener 37-21 against the Jaguars with former Cleveland QB Tyrod Taylor under center.