November 30, 2021

Key Takeaways from the Browns’ win over Carolina

1. Baker Mayfield is officially “The Man”

Baker recorded a 127 quarterback rating this past week, his third QBR over 125 in the past four games. On Sunday, he completed 81% of his passes and went 18/22 (with two drops by receivers) on his way to a 238 yard and one touchdown day. His successes on Sunday and over the past few weeks have been due to Freddie Kitchens’ willingness to listen to Baker and listen to opening up the offense and allow Baker to make deep throws. Games against Atlanta, Cincinnati and now Carolina have been decided by Baker’s deep throws.

On Sunday, Mayfield’s big play to Rashard Perriman salvaged the game in a sense. The Browns are notorious for getting in holes early, had the opening drive stalled, Cleveland may have easily found themselves in a 14 or 21 point hole. Then his throw to Jarvis Landry for the long touchdown did it again.

While there may have been some debate on whether to build the offense around Nick Chubb or Mayfield, I think the answer is clear now. Chubb can make the occasional big play to change momentum, but Mayfield makes the winning plays. Take his rollout throw from the end zone in the fourth quarter, for example. That throw picked up a critical first down, made Carolina burn a timeout and eventually helped them close out the game.

Nobody had stopped Baker through college and now he’s quickly figuring out the NFL. Keep him in charge, where he belongs.

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