Baker Mayfield has been in the crosshairs all week thanks to his miserable outing against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday as the Cleveland Browns fell 38-7.
It was a sound defeat, but the Browns are still 4-2, with a real shot at a playoff berth with the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL, per ESPN.
After getting the Steelers trip out of the way, the #Browns now have the NFL’s easiest remaining schedule, according to ESPN FPI.
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) October 19, 2020
However, Mayfield — the former No. 1 overall pick — admitted that it has been a rough week following the loss.
“The feeling throughout [our] building after that loss — 4-2 has never felt so much like 0-6 before,” Mayfield told reporters on Wednesday. “But that’s because we have very high expectations for ourselves.”
As for the criticism he’s been receiving this week, Mayfield had a simple response.
“I don’t give a damn what they say,” he said. “We know we can be better. I know I can be better. The outside noise doesn’t matter. They get paid to talk and we get paid to do our work. So that’s how it’s going to be handled.
“No matter what the expectations are on the outside, we have to go in there and handle it,” he added. “It is the NFL. There are no gimmes. You have to earn it in this business so we have to handle it that way.”
Michael Silver: Mayfield’s Career Built on Criticism
Michael Silver of the NFL Network isn’t buying Mayfield not giving a damn. After all, this is a quarterback that has been doubted at every turn of his career and thrived off of the criticism, keeping a list in his head of all those who have done him wrong.
“Easy Rhett Butler,” Silver said, referencing the Gone Like the Wind character. “Your whole career has been fueled by the chip you carry because you don’t give a damn. I know you won’t get mad at me saying that, because you don’t really care what I say.”
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) October 21, 2020
Baker Mayfield Wants to Get ‘Back to the Basics’
After not tossing an interception in two straight games, Mayfield has tossed four in his last two, including a bad one to Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick that was returned for a touchdown.
Mayfield knows he has to do better, but can’t dwell on those miscues.
“You’ve got to have a short memory playing quarterback,” Mayfield said. “That’s for the good and the bad, and especially with the bad. We just have to get back to the basics and find completions, and it’s tough when you’re in a momentum swing like that and you need to get back on track. But at this position, you have to be able to do that.”
Mayfield was injured against the Colts, but played through what the team designated as a chest issue against the Steelers. He took some big shots against Pittsburgh, but said he’s feeling better and should be able to get more practice reps in this week.
“I should be able to do a lot more in practice,” Mayfield said. “We’ve got to get back to work.”
The Browns are 3.5-point favorites this week against the Bengals. Cleveland bested Cincinnati in the Battle of Ohio last time out 35-30 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.