BEREA, Ohio – Baker Mayfield admitted that although the Browns are still proud of a winning record, it did not feel that way this week after the deflationary 38-7 loss for the Steelers.
“Emotion everywhere [our] “building after this defeat – 4-2 had never felt as much as 0-6 in the past,” Cleveland’s quarterback said on Wednesday.
The Browns had their last winning record in 2014. But an otherwise strong start has been marred by losses from rivals AFC North Baltimore and Pittsburgh, who combined to beat Cleveland 76-13.
Nevertheless, the ESPN football index gives the Browns a 56.6% chance of finally closing the 18-year-old NFL playoff drought. According to the FPI, Cleveland is also facing the easiest remaining program in the league.
“We are eager to get back to work,” Mayfield said. “Fix the problems we know are under our control.”
Mayfield has taken on the weight of criticism for the Steelers’ loss after producing a QBR score of 5.5, the third worst QBR performance of any quarterback this year. While battling a chest injury that limited him in practice last week, Mayfield threw a pick-six in Cleveland’s third snap and Pittsburgh continued to fire him four times and block another pass. It was eventually replaced by Keenum case late in the third quarter.
Coach Kevin Stepanski later explained, “I did not want to see him hit again.”
“I have to have a brief memory of playing quarterback,” Mayfield said. “It’s hard when you’re in a rush to get back on the road. But in this position, you have to be able to do that.”
Mayfield said avoiding early mistakes would be the key to recovery.
“Don’t let them nail their ears back and make a lot of crazy blows,” he said. “Take out the ball [my] hands, do not give them a taste to hit the quarterback, get these bags. … Playing the field position early is more than OK. “
Mayfield said his chest and rib injury had improved since Sunday, despite doing a lot of big shots and expecting to do more exercise this week.
And what about the criticism from experts?
“I do not understand what they are saying,” he replied. “We know we can be better. I know I can be better. Exterior noise does not matter. They get paid to talk and get paid to do our job. That is how we will handle it. “