Despite getting the 14-7 win on Sunday, it was a rough outing for Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and receiver Odell Beckham Jr. against the Vikings on Sunday.
Mayfield and the passing game never got on track against the Vikings, with the offense notching just 155 yards through the air and no touchdowns. Beckham didn’t have the best showing either, but really by no fault of his own. He was targeted seven times but caught just two balls for 27 yards.
An egregious misfire came in the waning moments of the fourth quarter, with the Browns looking to put the game away. Beckham beat his man and had his sights set on the end zone. However, the ball came up way short to the dismay of Beckham, who is still looking for his first touchdown of the season. Beckham’s reaction to the missed throw drew quite the reaction online.
“Odell absolutely hates playing with Baker,” one account tweeted.
“Federal time for Mayfield,” another user tweeted, along with video of the play.
Beckham led the league this week in unrealized air yards, with 133, per PFF.
It’s no secret that Mayfield could have been better, with the quarterback calling his own performance “piss-poor” after the game.
Odell Beckham Still Getting Back in Game Shape
Beckham talked this week about the “home run ball” between he and Mayfield and when it could surface.
“It is just the game plan we have. There are plays in there where we will have opportunities throughout the year, and I am sure that we will hit them,” Beckham said in the week leading up to the Vikings matchup. “Whenever the opportunity presents itself, just make the most of it.”
Beckham returned for his first action last week and has looked back to full strength, albeit he’s still getting his wind. He has seven catches for 104 yards through the two games. Beckham admitted that he’s still in the process of getting into true game shape.
“I am one of those people that I am going to go as much as I can go. It is hard for me to sit out, but any time I needed a break, I was not hesitant to take it,” Beckham said on Sunday, September 26 after beating the Bears. “I pushed it, but I gave it everything I could for today.”
Mayfield thinks Beckham will only get better through the season as he finds his rhythm.
“Just those game reps, I think he knows exactly how he has to be prepared throughout the week, but that is something that is only going to come with those game reps. I think he is going to push himself during practice this week, as well, and get ready to go as best as he can.”
Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Worked on Chemistry
Mayfield and Beckham have gone to extraordinary lengths to build their chemistry. That included some extra work in the offseason with Beckham still rebounding from a torn ACL and taking a trip together to Yellowstone prior to the start of the season.
“Year 1, we were definitely just trying to get used to each other. Last year, did not have a full season by any means because of the injury,” Mayfield told reporters in August. “This year, I think we have had our backs against the wall the two of us together. I think we can relate a lot on those types of things. You are right, having success is always sweeter when it is not just handed to you, it is not the easy road, you hit adversity and you have to battle through it. That is just the way of life, too.”
For what it’s worth, Beckham has backed his quarterback at every turn and will likely keep doing so, especially with the Super Bowl-level expectations hanging over the locker room.