CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Baker Mayfield threw for 325 yards in a 20-point blowout, on the road, on Monday night, yet by the sounds of the critics on talk radio, you’d think the Browns lost.
“Everybody’s acting like the sky is falling," Mayfield said on Wednesday, after the Browns returned to practice. “A win is a win, and we’ll take it every time.”
A win is a win, especially when you entered the game 0-1, and have the defending NFC champs on deck the following week.
Beating the Jets took a lot of pressure off of Mayfield and first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens.
Now the real work begins.
The Rams are next, in another prime-time showdown, followed by a trip to Baltimore, another Monday Night game in San Francisco, and then the Seahawks and Patriots.
Let’s stick with the Rams, a team with a top five defense led by two-time Defensive Player of the Year, defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
“His speed, his quickness and his reaction, he does not play small all the time either," Kitchens said. "If you try to jump out on him and quickset him and all that, he can get you with power. His speed to power is pretty good. He is almost rushing like an end most of the time. I saw Aaron Donald in Mobile defeat the center on one on ones. He beat the center, he moved out the 3-technique and he beat the guard and then moved to and beat the tackle. He has been a good player for a long time, and he continues to get better. We have our work cut out for us there.”
“His game speaks for itself," Mayfield said. “He works very hard, that’s why he’s the best in the league right now. He creates a monster in itself in his game, but that also gives other guys opportunities to get one-on-one matchups.”
The Rams are 2-0 and coming off a 27-9 win over the Saints.
Fourth-year quarterback Jared Goff, like Mayfield a former No. 1 pick, has become one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.
It will be a challenge for Baker and the Browns to keep up on Sunday night, but as they work on finding more consistency on offense, and as Kitchens vows to put his quarterback in better positions to succeed, Baker sums it up in five words:
“I need to play better.”