To say the Cleveland Browns failed to meet expectations this season would be an understatement. Baker Mayfield led the hype train derailment with a disappointing second year. He ended the year with almost as many picks (21) as he did TD’s (22). Baker saw drops in almost all of his stats including a decrease in completion percentage, touchdown rate and yards per attempt. All of this despite the addition of Odell Beckham Jr., whom many assumed would add to Baker’s arsenal.
We saw quite a different Mayfield on the field this season.
At times, he looked scared and definitely did not display the confidence he’d previously shown. Once a leader of the team, he failed to rally them to their full potential. While perhaps it’s unfair to lay that weight on his shoulders, exceptional QBs own that responsibility.
So, what happened to Baker this season?
Was it as simple as just a “Sophomore Slump”? Or, was he affected by the lack of coaching by Freddie Kitchens? Was the bad offensive line to blame? Did Baker focus on making commercials and not enough on football?
The questions can pile up.
The excuses can mount higher than the Terminal Tower, but one fact remains – Mayfield underperformed.
There has been almost a total reset with the Browns, from the firing of Kitchens and general manager John Dorsey. Fans are rightfully angry at the Browns’ performance this season but are torn with the decision to shake things up. However, one thing everyone can agree on is that something had to change. It remains to be seen if these changes will help Baker bounce back next season.