With the Ravens easily taking care of the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, let’s take a look at the key takeaways from the other three teams in the AFC North.
Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield continues to struggle
The Cleveland Browns hype train was definitely not as loud coming into this season as it was prior to last year. The Browns still have a very talented team on paper though and were picked by many media analysts to have a bounce-back year, despite having a first-year head coach, Kevin Stefanski. The Browns were flat out embarrassed on Sunday, and that starts with third-year quarterback, Baker Mayfield.
Mayfield was prone to turning the ball over last season, throwing 21 interceptions, which was the second highest mark in the league. Mayfield started this year off on the same page, throwing an interception on the Browns’ first drive off of a tipped pass by Calais Campbell, that fell into the hands of Marlon Humphrey. Starting off with a score could have gone a long way for Cleveland, as Baltimore jumped out to a 10-0 lead after two turnovers on the Browns’ first two drives.
Mayfield finished the day 21-38 for 189 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Let’s be clear, the Browns loss on Sunday was not solely on Mayfield. Cleveland’s special teams and defense were thoroughly outplayed by their Ravens counterparts as well. However, if the culture is ever going to pivot away from losing in Cleveland, it needs to start with Baker Mayfield playing up to the level of the number one pick he was in 2018.
It also seemed as if Mayfield was trying to force the ball to Odell Beckham Jr. at times, who was held to 22 yards on only three catches. He had 10 targets. One in particular stood out when Mayfield overthrew Beckham who was open and in stride for a touchdown.
The Browns will have a chance to redeem themselves quickly on a short week when they take on an inexperienced Cincinnati Bengals defense at home on Thursday night.