The Cleveland Browns were able to beat the Minnesota Vikings 14-7 on Sunday despite a rough outing from quarterback Baker Mayfield that featured some glaring errors.
Mayfield finished the game 15-of-33 for 155 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions and had the opportunity to make the one-score game a little more comfortable. Mayfield is dealing with a dinged up non-throwing shoulder, but refused to use that as an excuse following what he dubbed a “piss-poor performance.”
“I have to pick it up,” Mayfield told reporters after the game, “because if I think that piss-poor performance is going to cut it, it’s not.”
Mayfield continued to shoulder the blame and gave some major props to his defense, which didn’t allow Minnesota to score following their opening drive. One miss, in particular, was to Odell Beckham Jr. in the waning moments that would have surely been their first connection of the season, or a minimum sealed the win.
“That’s the type of dagger that you need to have on offense to put it away, kind of like last week with Harrison Bryant’s far cross and it sailed over him,” Mayfield said. “Those are the things I’m not real happy with myself about, but our defense is playing well enough right now to save me from that. I’ve got to be better. It’s just flat out simple and there’s not much else I can say.”
Browns Defense Puts On Another Clinic
While Mayfield struggled to find his rhythm, the defense needed just one drive to kick into gear. After allowing a methodical opening jaunt down the field from the Vikings, the defense woke up and didn’t allow Minnesota to score again.
“Once we got rolling, we started looking really good and really competitive,” Garrett said after beating the Vikings. “Once we settled in, we were looking dominant.”
It’s the first time the Browns have held opponents to single-digits in consecutive games since 1995.
“What a great performance by our defense,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said. “That’s a really good team we played today, and they have an explosive offense. We settled in after that first drive and played outstanding.”
The Vikings finished with 255 total yards and the Browns won the time of possession battle by more than 10 minutes.
Greedy Williams Steps Up With First Interception
The Browns needed Greedy Williams to step up with the absence of starting rookie cornerback Greg Newsome II and he responded. Williams nabbed an interception in the fourth quarter to help keep the Browns in control.
“It’s been long, it’s been long,” Williams said. “This here feels amazing.”
The Browns selected Williams in the second round of the 2019 draft and he quickly became a valuable piece for the team, starting all 12 games he appeared in as a rookie. However, Williams — who is only 23 — missed all of last season with severe damage to the axillary nerve in his shoulder, an injury he suffered in training camp.
The severity of Newsome’s injury is uncertain, although not going on IR means the team expects him back in the next two games. That being said, Williams has proven he’s still got it.