After being booed in the Browns’ 13-10 victory at home over the Detroit Lions, Baker Mayfield is steadily losing favor in Cleveland. I say good on those members of the Dawg Pound that have finally awakened to see Mayfield for who he is. He’s an average NFL quarterback, nothing more, nothing less. That’s it, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What’s wrong is fighting so hard to convince the outside world that Baker’s anywhere near an elite QB, which he is not.
Mayfield can act tough with the media and claim he doesn’t care about those fans who booed him on Sunday, but that hurt him. It had to. Anytime the home team gets booed by its own fans, there’s cause for concern and caring by every player, coach, and team executive. It takes a lot to push the home crowd this far, especially in this case where the Dawg Pound has spent close to four years defending Baker at this point. So, for those same fans to turn their backs on Mayfield screams volumes.
And for the second year in a row, the Browns should still be in the playoff hunt entering December, which is something for the fans in Cleveland to be thankful for. Yes, the Browns are 6-5, but let’s not act like Mayfield is the one leading that charge. Of course, Baker apologists will bring up all the injuries he’s been plagued by this year. First, who isn’t dealing with multiple injuries by this point in the NFL season? And if Mayfield is really that messed up, then he needs to sit his ass down and take a week or two off. If you’re dealing with that many injuries at the QB position, it just becomes counterproductive. In the win against Detroit, Baker completed under 52 percent of his pass attempts (15/29) for 179 yards passing, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. You can’t convince me the Browns won that game (barely) against the Lions because of Mayfield’s stellar performance.
So Baker walking off the field immediately following the win, then dismissing the media and fans, is only fitting. He’s frustrated, and I get that. The injuries, plus his subpar play (which he acknowledged), coupled with the hometown fans booing him in his house is a lot to calculate in a matter of minutes. But the Browns organization is to be held accountable here as well. Head coach Kevin Stefanski and his staff have allowed Baker to go out there and play himself out of a contract extension. The world knows Cleveland wasn’t sold on Mayfield coming into this season, and they still aren’t 11 weeks in. He’s missed only one game this year, and the Browns won it with Case Keenum, 17-14, over the Denver Broncos.
I believe the Browns’ front office has already decided that Mayfield isn’t the long-term solution at QB, and now the fans have finally come to terms with this and lashed out at Baker. The team is winning, but the Browns could put a lot of other QBs under center and come out with the same result, if not better, than whatever Mayfield has done. The math really is quite simple in this equation. It’s time for both sides to move on because things will not get drastically better in Cleveland with Mayfield at QB. He’s a good player but not an elite one. And after going to bat for Baker for so long and finally realizing that he’ll likely never be what the fans wanted him to be is the toughest pill to swallow. The fans in Cleveland deserve much better.