CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Baker Mayfield has led the Browns to all four of their wins this season, since relieving Tyrod Taylor in Week 3 against the Jets ... and all four wins have come at home.
He gets another test at First Energy Stadium on Sunday when Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers come to town, a team that started off 6-2 but has lost four straight since.
The Panthers' defense ranks in the middle of the pack statistically, but have had some issues lately, so they're shaking things up, demoting defensive coordinator Eric Washington and firing defensive line coach Brady Hoke and assistant secondary/cornerbacks coach Jeff Imamura.
Head coach Ron Rivera will take over defensive play-calling duties, and one thing we're sure to see is a carbon copy of what the Houston Texans did four days ago, when they abandoned the blitz. Mayfield has had great success against the blitz in this, his rookie season, a testament to his quick decision-making.
His completion percentage goes up, and in fact, he was was perfect in nine attempts in the win over the Falcons in Week 10.
Despite his poor second quarter in Houston, in which he was intercepted on three consecutive possessions, with one taken back for a touchdown, Mayfield bounced back to put up record numbers for a Browns rookie quarterback (351 of his 397 passing yards came in the second half).
At 4-7-1, the playoffs are now out of the question for the Browns in 2018, but...they'll very likely be in the conversation in 2019. In the meantime, Mayfield has put the energy back into First Energy Stadium, and a 5th home win on Sunday wouldn't surprise anyone.
After that, they’re at Denver, home against the Bengals, and finishing in Baltimore.
All things considered (poor start, “internal discord”, coaching changes), 6-9-1 would feel pretty good at the end of the year.
A franchise quarterback, singing “Home Sweet Home.”
It’s been a while.