It’s like the good old days of college football for this upcoming game Sunday down at FirstEnergy Stadium, when Chicago Bears new rookie quarterback Justin Fields, the former Ohio State star, battles the Cleveland Browns quarterback and former Oklahoma Sooners star Baker Mayfield.
Mayfield has already established himself as the newest franchise quarterback for the Browns. Now, will Fields do the same in Chicago and be the face of that franchise for years to come? Ohio State quarterbacks don’t usually have successful careers in the NFL, so if Fields can turn that pattern around, that would be a bonus for those crazy Bears fans.
In this week’s 1st and goal report, we will look at Fields and other hot topics for the game.
1st Down: OBJ
Earlier in the week, Browns wide receiver diva Odell Beckham Jr. had a press conference with the local media. He meandered around in his answers to some questions about his potential return this Sunday against the Bears. I had my doubts then that he’d play this weekend, but as of today, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed the OBJ would play Sunday.
So with that topic in the background, we can now look forward to seeing OBJ actually play again. A lot has been made about Baker Mayfield and OBJ and their chemistry on the field of play. Some have argued that OBJ made things worse for Mayfield a year ago. From a statistical standpoint, Mayfield did play better after OBJ got injured last season. Mayfield only threw one interception after OBJ was gone.
What should we expect Sunday? I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Mayfield try and launch a couple deep balls to OBJ early. Maybe the Browns try to run plays for OBJ that are away from the interior of the defense, where I assume the Bears defenders will be seeking to destroy OBJ on passes his way.
I think having OBJ on the field will at least keep the Bears defense honest and likely give the Browns run game an even bigger boost and some other younger, talented players like wide receiver Donovan Peoples Jones more opportunities.