I simply can’t remember the last time a Browns quarterback had as many touchdowns as in-completions. I spent Sundays game against the Falcons focusing more on Baker Mayfield and finding reasons for why he was the number 1 pick, I couldn’t have been more impressed.
Ok, I am a Browns fan, this wasn’t my first time watching him play, I have done all year. I even enjoyed tuning in on Saturdays last year to watch him play for the Sooners, hoping and telling friends pre-draft, this is the guy I want as a quarterback of my Cleveland Browns!
Roll on to this Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons roll into Cleveland. Hoping and almost with many Falcons fans already thinking of that W. Little did they know, this Browns team is full of fighters. They man handled the falcons on both lines and deservedly got the victory in the end.
Back to Baker, he ended this game as one of the two stars of the show, Nick Chubb and himself will again compete for the NFL’s “Rookie of the week” award and this game highlighted just why.
The First Half
Baker Mayfields first half display was up with possibly the best I can recall by a Browns QB (I’ve only been a fan 10 years) I know that leaves us with minimal choice.
At the half Baker was 12-for-12 for 165 yds, 2 TDs and a perfect passer rating of 158.3. Not only did this leave me and most of twitter impressed but also Around the NFL podcast hero and Browns fan Marc Sessler was clearly impressed:
Baker Mayfield right now: 12-of-12 passing for 165 yards with two touchdown strikes. Easily his strongest work as a rookie. Best half of the year by the #Browns offense.
— Marc Sessler (@MarcSesslerNFL) November 11, 2018
To see why we just have to look at his first touchdown throw of the day, as the pocket seemingly collapses Baker showed great awareness to keep moving and not only escape the pocket, but keep his eyes downfield and the play alive without “Trying to force anything”. The original target looked like it should have been Jarvis Landry but when the play broke down. being chased Baker saw Higgins and hit him for a tidy strike downfield to put the Browns up. Up to this point more of the same, calculated, and smart plays had been made by Baker, a zero mistake first half.
Beautiful from @bakermayfield 🙌
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) November 11, 2018
What made this half more special in my opinion was that Baker showed his ability to not just stare down his favorite receiver and spread the ball by finding 9 different receivers on his first 11 throws. all completions. As the half moved on Baker with the help of a strong running game, kept the Browns offense firmly in the box seat,
2nd touchdown throw. great awareness again, to the reliable rookie Nick Chubb late in the half, this would later prove to be the go-ahead score the Browns never looked back on. What impressed me about this play, was Bakers clear ability to make his reads, see whose open and trust his receiver, you can see him look to the top of the field, then at Chubb and immediately know he had the rookie free.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 11, 2018
At the start of the third quarter came a moment of uncertainty for Baker and showed his ability to turn a broken play around, this one the ball came loose as the Falcons rushed, he then managed to not only get on the ball, but pick it up earn the Browns a crucial 6 yards, the awareness and ability on this play, despite it not blowing up stat sheets felt like a real IT moment for the Browns and was the first point during Sundays game where as a Browns fan I felt “Were going to win this”. Something I normally have to stop myself from even thinking.
Bakers first in completion came on a shot to the end zone and after 13 straight completions, a shot to the end zone, the throw wasn’t bad and wasn’t much chance of the Falcons picking it off, a my receiver or no one type throw.
The very next play, his 3rd touchdown pass of the Game! This would prove to be his last, but also would make sure his number of completions on the day would match his number of touchdowns. A rarity for any Browns QB.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 11, 2018
It would be unfair to just say this game was down to just Baker Mayfield, the Browns as a team had a complete performance from all sides of the ball and were deserved winners but the rookie QB is the first in many to offer hope for this beloved under dog.
Browns fans, not only in the US but also here in the UK follow a strict code of conduct to always have faith even when it defies all logic and too never stop loving the team. It would probably surprise US based fans how that loyalty has spread to the UK and to the extent, at least 2 Union Jack flags were inside first energy this Sunday, including that of Paul Brown whose UK based Podcast always closes with the statement and song “Change is coming” well Browns fans it’s here and its name is Baker Mayfield.
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