BALTIMORE, MD – In what is seemingly becoming a sad tradition, the Cleveland Browns played like ‘The Browns’ in a season-opening 38-6 drubbing at the hands of the AFC North champion Baltimore Ravens.
6-10 last season, and under their fourth head coach in three seasons in former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator, Kevin Stefanski and a slew of big-name free agent signings such as OL Jack Conklin and TE Austin Hooper, none of that mattered as reigning NFL MVP in third-year Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson carved up the Browns like he was playing them in a game of Madden.
It may only be one game, and an offense that was playing one-handed thanks to COVID-19 and only having six weeks together with no preseason games, but is it time to call Baker Mayfield a bust?
In completing 21-39 passes for 189 yards and one touchdown, he also looked erratic, timid and all over the place Sunday afternoon in also tossing his first interception of the year. In a year of put up or shut up, Mayfield did not get off to the best of starts against a loaded defense with Super Bowl aspirations.
To be fair, Baltimore is further ahead of Cleveland on both sides of the ball, and down in Charm City, the Ravens showed how and why all afternoon in just looking flat-out superior, thanks to a more confident Jackson, who looks like the extra work he’s been putting into becoming a more developed passer is already paying off.
Through the air and on the ground, Jackson sliced and diced the Browns seemingly helpless defense and treated them like a midnight snack of Maryland crab cakes in completing 20-25 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson would add another 45 yards on seven carries.
Former Ohio State tailback, J.K. Dobbins scored his first and second NFL touchdowns on seven carries for 22 yards. Baltimore wide receiver Marquise Brown caught five passes for 101 yards.
At 0-1 with a short turnaround for Cincinnati on Thursday night, the Bengals game already feels like a must-win. Hopefully for the browns, they can right their ship immediately before it takes on any more early water.