The Cleveland Browns scored a sound victory over the Chicago Bears in Week 3.
The final score was 26-6.
Surprisingly nearly half of the points came from Chase McLaughlin field goals.
The high powered Cleveland Browns offense led by Baker Mayfield was a little erratic at times especially early in the game.
Week 3 was not Mayfield’s best game, but he was dealing with a tough Chicago Bears defense.
The offensive line had their challenges, and all of this impacted Mayfield’s performance.
Baker Mayfield didn't play anywhere near his best game and the Browns downright dismantled Chicago.
— Nick Karns (@karnsies817) September 26, 2021
With all of that said, he earned a “B” for the game.
Here is why.
1. Not As Accurate
Through two games, Mayfield threw only 9 incomplete passes.
Against the Bears, he threw 12.
Early and often, the ball was sailing high or just not thrown with the trademark zip and accuracy Mayfield has possessed through the first two games.
He did not throw an interception despite being a bit off.
That ended his streak of throwing 1 INT per game the past 2 games.
2. Hurried A Lot
His accuracy was impacted by the fact that his offensive line, which has been top notch, looked vulnerable at times.
Jedrick Wills is still playing through the ankle injury, and he is not the same player as he was last season because of it.
Mayfield was sacked 5 times for 43 yards.
3. Did Not Throw Long
Mayfield’s longest completed pass was to Odell Beckham Jr. for 26 yards.
He finished with 19 completions out of 31 attempts for 246 yards.
His average yards per completion were 7.9.
That is a lot lower than in his first two games.
In the Chiefs game, his average was approximately 15 yards per completed pass.
Last week against the Texans, it was around 11 yards per pass.
The short game is what he executed today.
It is unclear if this was due to the aggressive Bears defense, the Browns’ more porous offensive line, or his injured non-throwing shoulder from last week.
In his postgame press conference, Coach Stefanski took responsibility for the pass protection.
He also admitted Mayfield cannot continue to take those hits.
“Yeah I would tell you first thing is I did not do a good enough job in the pass protection and how I called it, I need to be better. Baker can’t get hit like that so that is on me, and I will be better. I thought the guys understood the challenge. It was a stiff test versus that front, but I can help out there.”
Mayfield reflected postgame on the defensive performance that headlined this game.
On his RBs?
“I have to be good about carrying out my run fakes, because, I wanna watch ‘em…”
(Plus a Myles Garrett interview bomb)…💪 pic.twitter.com/CSdW1SbZf6
— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) September 26, 2021
In the end, the Browns secured the victory which is the only stat or grade that really matters.
The team goes to 2-1.
We have been treated to excellent offensive play in previous games, and this game was largely about the defense.
It will be a marvel when both sides of the ball dominate during the same game.