The Cleveland Browns won a tight one Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars to go 8-3 on the season.
It was perhaps more exciting and nail-biting than Browns fans hoped it would be given that the Jaguars have only won 1 game this season.
The final score was 27-25.
Browns QB Baker Mayfield is always truthful and didn’t hold back on social media when evaluating his performance.
I know I can be better… and I will be. Job isn’t finished, lot of ball left. We’re 8-3 and not satisfied. That’s the best part about this team.
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) November 29, 2020
Baker went 19 for 29 on the day for 258 yards and 2 TDs and perhaps most importantly no INTs.
Couple that with the Chubb/Hunt tandem running for over 200 yards and that’s a good day at the office.
So why is Baker being so critical?
1. He knows and expects criticism.
Mayfield knows it is coming.
Cleveland fans have been very tough on him, sometimes rightly so.
Many view him as average and not a franchise quarterback.
I would venture to say he did enough to keep his team in contention today.
Was he perfect?
No, but who is short of Patrick Mahomes and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2020 NFL season?
2. There were missed opportunities.
The fact that Cody Parkey has been almost automatic has helped the Browns.
Because at least they are getting 3 points at times when they most certainly should have 7.
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) November 29, 2020
Case in point, when the Browns were leading 7-6 with 1st and goal, Baker had a couple of high throws.
The run game was stuffed down there so the Browns had to settle for 3 points.
4th quarter scoring was not there against Jacksonville either.
Aside from the TD in the first minutes of the 4th quarter, the Browns did not put any points on the board.
3. The Browns have big games coming up.
So far in 2020, the Browns have beaten the teams they were expected to beat with the exception of the Raiders.
In that case, the Browns lost to the Raiders and the weather but have improved after that game.
Looking ahead to the last five games of the season, the Browns have Tennessee, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh as three of them.
Those are teams in the playoff hunt just as the Browns are.
Baker Mayfield knows he will have to lift his game another notch against these competitors if the Browns are going to get in the playoffs.
4. The pressure is on the offense with defensive injuries and COVID-19 players.
This means the offense has to score more points because the defense may struggle more.
That was evident today; the defense did struggle to stop the running game and to keep the backup QB from scoring on them.
Baker feels and internalizes that pressure, sometimes too much.
Just as Johnny Manziel came out recently and said he knows that he wasted 2 years of Joe Thomas‘s career, it is safe to say that Baker Mayfield never wants anyone to say that he is wasting the careers of Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and the other extremely talented players on the Browns roster.