With four games left and on the outside looking in in the AFC Wild Card hunt for the playoffs, Cleveland Browns rookie phenom QB Baker Mayfield has the once down-trodden franchise looking and playing dangerous.
The former top overall pick and 2017 Heisman Trophy winner out of Oklahoma leads all rookie quarterbacks in yards passing (2,639), passing touchdowns (18), passer rating (91.1), completion percentage (63.3) and passing yards per game (263.9). It’s been a long time since Cleveland—and their long-suffering loyal fans—were able to boast that they have a QB, but Mayfield is THE guy.
Since being inserted for Tyrod Taylor, and helping lead the Browns to their first win in almost two years vs. the New York Jets on Thursday Night, Mayfield has injected Cleveland with a real attitude in bringing a sense of Brett Favre-like swagger, confidence, play-making and stability at QB that has not been in Cleveland since Bernie Kosar.
When was the last time a Browns quarterback was mentioned nationally outside of Cleveland for something other than being a bust, injured or his name being added to the infamous Browns jersey of failed QB’s?
Thanks to his play, Mayfield is making even the most jaded Browns fan forget the debacle that was Johnny Manziel. Hard to believe that last year, this franchise was en route to the league’s second winless season in history and starting Cody Kessler and DeShone Kizer under Hue Jackson, and now after a coaching change under Gregg Williams and offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens are now in the hunt for a possible..did I just type possible playoff berth.
Insert Jim Mora’s “playoffs” rant here.
After all of the bad football I have had to witness over the last three years—3-36-1, in case you need to be reminded—and some even worse play on the field, blogging the words “Browns” and “dangerous” in the same column is akin to winning the Powerball for me.
And I couldn’t be happier.
The Browns are not back yet, they are a longshot of sneaking into the playoffs and aren’t quite there yet in playing with the big boys such as Pittsburgh, New England, Los Angeles Rams AND Chargers, but they are definitely a team to watch and one to be wary of.
As Mayfield said, he woke up feeling dangerous, and now he has the Browns looking and playing the same way.