Cleveland Browns 25-year-old quarterback Baker Mayfield has been heavily criticized since coming into the league.
He put together a record-setting rookie campaign, but things fell apart for him last season.
ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky has been predicting a comeback season for Mayfield over the last few months.
In fact, Orlovsky is so confident in Mayfield’s ability he decided to propose a bet to his fellow NFL analyst Marcus Spears.
“I will bet you $100 Baker Mayfield will throw less than 10 interceptions this year and more than 25 touchdowns,” said Orlovsky.
However, Spears has decided to not take up Orlovsky on his bet.
I do t know how this turned into a bet! I asked you what would you say if he threw 21 INTs ! Since up to this point it’s the coaches fault https://t.co/SxCtm3VCOo
— Marcus Spears (@mspears96) July 14, 2020
Orlovsky is a big believer that Mayfield will flourish in Kevin Stefanski’s zone-blocking scheme.
It’s nice to see someone actually on Mayfield’s side for once and give him the benefit of the doubt.
Things didn’t go perfect for Mayfield last season, but he still deserves credit for what he’s accomplished thus far in his career.
He threw for 3,725 passing yards with 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions during 14 games his rookie season.
The sophomore slump hit Mayfield pretty hard in 2019, but it wasn’t all his fault.
Baker Mayfield had the most interceptions in 2019 that weren't his fault.
1. Landry abandons his route.
2. Callaway tips ball into the air.
3. Collision on timing route.
4. Hilliard drop.
5. Blown assignment on screen.
6. Njoku has ball ripped away. pic.twitter.com/JsNMLtAKa0
— QB Data Mine (@QBDataMine) April 11, 2020
His teammates made mistakes as well, but the interception goes on Mayfield’s record.
His passer rating dropped from 93.7 in 2018 to 78.8 during his second season.
The biggest issue was the increase in turnovers as his interception total rose to 21 last season.
Mayfield finished with the second-most interceptions in the league.
As already mentioned, not all the picks were on Mayfield, but plenty of them were his fault.
Often times, Mayfield would be under pressure and just chuck the ball deep downfield.
That is a recipe for disaster for any quarterback at the professional level.
Will Mayfield Bounce Back?
Orlovsky is on Mayfield’s side, but the scheme should be a major contributor as well.
Five quarterbacks who played in the same scheme all had success last season.
“They won 70 percent of their games, they completed 66 percent of their passes. Their passer rating is 99 percent just in this offense,” says Orlovsky.
None of those quarterbacks have the same type of weapons that Mayfield has in Cleveland.
Over the offseason, the Browns revamped their offensive line and added Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper.
They still have two Pro Bowl wide receivers and one of the best young running backs in the league.
It would be quite surprising if Mayfield wasn’t able to bounce back next season.
It appears Spears was unwilling to take up Orlovsky on his wager, but not everyone is as shy.
Former Browns linebacker Emmanuel Acho is ready to take on Orlovsky, but with a higher risk.
Word on the street is @danorlovsky7 wants to bet $100 that Baker Mayfield won’t throw over 10 INT’s or less than 25 TD’s.
Y’all tell Dan to add 2 zero’s to the bet and let me get some action! I didn’t know he was giving out money.
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) July 14, 2020
Hopefully, Mayfield is able to lower his interception total, but less than 10 picks might be wishful thinking.
At the end of the day, it’s going to depend on how well Mayfield can adjust to the new scheme.
He’s a talented quarterback that could be a franchise-type player if he can make the right adjustments.
The Browns have the right man in charge with Stefanski, so we’ll see what happens next season.