ESPN analyst and former quarterback Dan Orlovsky shared a simple, but not subtle message on Twitter on Sunday.
He had some words for the Baker Mayfield doubters following Cleveland’s 41-16 thrashing of the Bengals on Sunday.
“Tough week for the Baker Mayfield sucks crowd.” Orlovsky tweeted.
Tough week for the Baker Mayfield sucks crowd 😬😬😬😬
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) November 7, 2021
This comes mainly in response to the many who took jabs at the quarterback during the Odell Beckham Jr. drama of this past week.
Celebrities, NBA stars, and even other NFL players latched on to the whole “Free Odell” campaign sparked by the 11-minute video from Odell Beckham Sr.
It’s Mayfield who gets to start the week smiling, however, as he put a stop to the chatter for the time being.
Doing His Job
It’s no slight at Mayfield to say he didn’t carry the Browns to a victory on Sunday.
Rather, he controlled the offense and did what was asked of him offensively in the win.
That’s the sign of a mature quarterback who understands his role on gameday.
No, the Alex Smith-esque stat line isn’t something to put in the history books.
But given the week that preceded this past Sunday, Baker very easily could have let ego get the better of him and try to win the game on his own.
Instead, he trusted his tailbacks, made the right throws, and let his defense do the rest.
A defense which, by the way, deserves endless praise this week for their performance in the win.
DENZEL WARD TOOK IT 100 YARDS FOR THE PICK-SIX
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 7, 2021
Sunday’s win embodied what a “team” performance looks like.
Many fans were concerned with players chasing their own personal agenda and brand as opposed to contributing to a larger cause.
Baker’s ability to spread the wealth offensively on Sunday tells me the team is beyond a personal brand meaning more than the team.
— Ed Greenberger (@EdGreenberger) November 7, 2021
Baker Mayfield had his highest passer rating of the season today. 8 players caught passes for the #Browns, but no player had more than 3 catches.
The Browns win by playing selfless TEAM football. If you’re worried about your stats, the Browns aren’t the team for you. #Dawgpound
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) November 7, 2021
This happened on the same Sunday where Bills quarterback Josh Allen completed 31 of 47 passes while throwing two interceptions and no touchdowns.
That’s in a 9-6 loss to Jacksonville mind you.
Rest assured the national media would be on Baker’s case for a performance like that.
I Think He’s Got His Swagger Back
Most of us have seen the meme below, specifically the image on the left of the tweet.
— 𝘾𝙡𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙎𝙕𝙉🌟(5-4) (@GoatedBaker) November 3, 2021
There’s plenty of folks who aren’t buying what Baker and the Browns are selling after Sunday.
Many believe that Mayfield will regress time and time again throughout the season with good performances sprinkled in.
Given the OBJ situation and the parting of ways, I think this will be different from previous Mayfield breakouts.
Not to say his struggles have been exclusively tied to Beckham Jr., but it’s clear the chemistry never developed.
As a result, the offense struggled with Baker and Odell out there together.
Without Baker having to worry about forcing anyone the ball, he’s able to play free and loose.
His ability to throw the ball downfield on Sunday shows just that.
A Baker's Dime. @BakerMayfield
— NFL (@NFL) November 7, 2021
“Baker Mayfield is a better quarterback without OBJ. … That’s the Baker Mayfield that can be a reason why the Browns win a Super Bowl.”
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) November 8, 2021
There will still be some subpar Sunday afternoons for Baker this year.
That’s how it goes in the NFL unless you are the best of the best.
Even then, bad days happen.
The key is to minimize them and not let them become anything more than that.
Every time Baker has struggled in the past, a media storm has ensued.
I doubt that is the case any longer.