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Sport Browns need more from Baker Mayfield after another prime-time flop

07:00  08 october  2019
07:00  08 october  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

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© AP Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) sits on the bench with teammates during the second half of an NFL football game against the Mayfield , of course, planted a Sooners flag at Ohio Stadium after leading Oklahoma to a prime - time victory in 2017. Box score: 49ERS 31, browns

Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield built his college career with a prove-everyone-wrong attitude where he went from walk-on to Heisman Trophy Mayfield , of course, planted a Sooners flag at Ohio Stadium after leading Oklahoma to a prime - time victory in 2017. An old feud from college – one that

Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield built his college career with a prove-everyone-wrong attitude where he went from walk-on to Heisman Trophy winner, and he almost always settled the score.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) sits on the bench with teammates during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)© AP Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) sits on the bench with teammates during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Almost. San Francisco's Nick Bosa – a former Ohio State defensive end – had one to settle with Mayfield from 2017 when he pretended to plant a flag after forcing an intentional grounding penalty in the second quarter of a 31-3 blowout on Monday Night Football. Mayfield, of course, planted a Sooners flag at Ohio Stadium after leading Oklahoma to a prime-time victory in 2017.

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BOX SCORE: 49ERS 31, BROWNS 3

An old feud from college – one that conflicted some Browns/Ohio State fans – is the least of Mayfield's problems right now. He finished 8 of 22 for 100 yards and two interceptions. He committed four turnovers and failed to lead a touchdown drive, and with that career-worst outing comes truth that hurts.

Mayfield needs to play better in big games in the NFL if Cleveland (2-3) wants to jump off the paper and become a real playoff contender. Bosa, who had two sacks, a fumble recovery and five quarterback hits, was the more impactful player Monday. San Francisco (4-0) was the better team, and Kyle Shanahan worked Freddie Kitchens in the coaching matchup. That's the score right now.

MORE: Bosa mocks Mayfield with flag plant

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Browns fans can pin this on Kitchens – and they will given the way the first-year coach has struggled – but this inconsistent team feels more like .500 than Super Bowl contender. A record between 9-7 and 7-9 might win a shoddy AFC North, but that won't mean much when they play a team that matters in a possible wild card round tilt.

Mayfield found that out against the 49ers. He regressed a week after passing for 342 yards and posting a 102.4 quarterback rating in an impressive 40-25 win against Baltimore. Through three prime-time games in five weeks, Mayfield is 45 of 93 (48.3 percent) for 620 yards with two TDs, four interceptions and 10 sacks in posting a 1-2 record against the Jets, Rams and 49ers. His next prime-time game will be Nov. 14 against the Steelers.

Where will the Browns be at that point? That depends on Mayfield and the offense around him. Will the offensive line improve? Will the heat turn up on Kitchens instead? When will Odell Beckham Jr. – who has 23 catches for 335 yards and one TD through five games – produce more in this offense? Those are real questions that don't have easy answers.

Nick Bosa schools Baker Mayfield about ‘planting the flag’

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He projects the Browns to select Baker Mayfield No. 1 overall I wouldn't be shocked if the Browns took Ward at No. 4. It's possible they could land him even after pulling off a trade with Buffalo. Jason Witten won't be playing for much longer, and the Cowboys don't have a reliable alternative on the

Mayfield just couldn't get going Monday. He threw an interception to Richard Sherman on the game's second possession. He lost a fumble, which Bosa recovered, and he threw an interception that wasn't his fault off the hands of Antonio Callaway. It's not all Mayfield's fault, but he also was 7 of 16 for 80 yards at halftime. That's not good enough to win in the NFL on the road, particularly as San Francisco rushed for 275 yards against Cleveland's defense.

It's time to talk about what Mayfield can do for the franchise other than provide the hope that led to his offseason hype.

Long term, the comparisons to Brett Favre are valid when it comes to Mayfield. In Favre's first full season as a starter in Green Bay, Favre finished with 3,303 yards, 19 TDs and 24 interceptions for a 9-7 team that was inconsistent from start to finish. But Favre led a wild card victory against Detroit that changed the trajectory of the franchise that season.

Look no further than the 49ers. They were the "it" team in the 2018 offseason, and with a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo and a defense that just didn't give Mayfield any time to do anything. San Francisco is doing what it was supposed to do last year and might have had Garoppolo not been injured for the season.

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MORE : Browns pick Baker Mayfield No. 1 in NFL draft stunner. MORE :Round 2 NFL mock draft: Which QB will Patriots target as Tom Brady's successor? Aikman also dismissed comparisons of Mayfield to former Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, another undersized Heisman Trophy winner.

After the Cleveland Browns and Baker Mayfield beat the Cincinnati Bengals on the road on Sunday, the Bengals’ newest assistant coach, Hue Jackson But Mayfield wasn’t really feeling a reunion with Jackson, who just a few weeks earlier was his head coach in Cleveland. He told reporters after the

The Browns came into the 2019 campaign with about a billion times more times media-driven hype, and it's going to get worse before it gets better. Seattle comes to Cleveland in Week 6, and the Browns go to New England after a bye week. Mayfield willwitness two of the most consistent quarterbacks in the game in Russell Wilson and Tom Brady.

It's entirely possible Cleveland is 2-5 at that point – which would be one game worse than last season's record through seven games.

The good news? The back half of the schedule is much more friendly, and Cleveland should be able to compete in a division where the Ravens (3-2), Steelers (1-4) and Bengals (0-5) reside. The combined winning percentage of those four teams is .300.

The Browns are still more than talented enough to win the AFC North, and that's going to be on Mayfield more than anybody else. But the only way to grow will be to play better against the contenders, and that is the biggest knock on Mayfield right now. He is 2-7 as a starter against teams with a winning record, and both of those victories are against the Ravens. These are the scores that matter now.

While his old college feuds, such as the one with Bosa, are no longer relevant, he needs to tap back into some of the characteristics made him successful at Oklahoma if the Browns are going to get back on track. He needs to be the one planting the flag and proving people wrong.

If Mayfield doesn't, then it's going to be a long season in Cleveland, perhaps one that is more than painful than most given the promise coming in.

It's on Mayfield to change that. That's what franchise-changing quarterbacks do.

Related slideshow: 2019 NFL season (Provided by imagn)

a football player on a field: Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines (21) reaches for the sideline as he is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller (29) during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium on October 6, 2019. 

NFL bust Ryan Leaf explained why he’s worried about Baker Mayfield .
Time to worry about Baker Mayfield?Fast forward to October, and the Browns are 2-4 with their next game against the undefeated Patriots.

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