Baker Mayfield came into the 2019 season looking to capitalize off of his fantastic 2018 season under center for the Cleveland Browns. Well, as the 2019 season is six weeks in, one thing is for sure – Baker has not been the Baker he was last season.
In the 2018 season, Baker played in 14 games, had a completion percentage of 63.8% while throwing 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. In comparison, 2019 Baker has played in six games to this point, has a completion percentage of 56.6% and has thrown five touchdowns and 11 interceptions. These stats side by side shows a huge difference in Baker’s play through both seasons. At the end of the 2018 season, the NFL media looked at Baker as an amazing quarterback with many great years to come at the helm of a dynasty for the Cleveland Browns. At this point in the 2019 season, the same media is wondering if Baker will turn out just like the rest of the former Cleveland Browns quarterbacks.
Baker’s 2019 season has not been what he or Cleveland Browns had hoped for, but the hope is that he can rebound after the bye week. While his play has not been stellar, one thing that cannot be disputed is Baker’s ability to be a leader. During training camp for the 2019 season, Duke Johnson wanted to be traded from Cleveland because he was slated to be the third-string running back behind Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Once this news came out, Baker addressed the situation in an interview with 92.3 The Fan.
“It’s not awkward. It’s self-inflicted, I hope he does his job.” Baker added “We gotta have guys that are goal-oriented, who have a single focus and mindset.”
Baker showed his chops as a leader before the year started and this has not changed one bit leading into the 2019 season. After the loss to the Seattle Seahawks on October 13, 2019, in his postgame interview, Baker says,
“The refs are never an excuse, but I’ll probably be fined for saying this, but it was pretty bad out there. Kinda ticks me off.”
Baker knew he played badly against the Seahawks, but knew he was not afraid to voice his opinion of how the referees officiated the game. Baker has never been afraid to give a piece of his mind and lead the Browns since the moment he took over behind center last season.
Overall, for the 2019 season-to-date, if Baker had to get a grade, I would give him a C.
Baker, to date, has not been the quarterback he was last season, but that does not mean he cannot rebound. Browns fans know first-hand the clutch that Baker can exhibit. Baker has shown moments where he has thrown the Browns on his back and led them to wins. Needless to say, without Baker Mayfield, the Browns would not have the hype that they do; he is also to blame for much of the struggles the Browns have had this season.
Baker has struggled this season but showed last season that he has the chance to be great. Only time will tell how his season and the Browns unfold.