Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed Mayfield is the starting quarterback, Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. This is not surprising news, but the addition of free agent Case Keenum, who has history with Stefanski, caused minor rumbling following Mayfield's 2019 season in which he threw nearly as many interceptions (21) as touchdowns (22). "I believe in Baker Mayfield, he's our starting quarterback. He's a young player that I think we've all seen glimpses of this kid being a really good player," Stefanski said. The offense in 2019 was dysfunctional under former head coach Freddie Kitchens, but Stefanski has made moves to change the attack in 2020. The addition of a fullback (Andy Janovich) and a second tight end (Austin Hooper) suggests a pivot from the wideout-focused offense of 2019.
Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said Wednesday that he intends to work with Mayfield on improving the quarterback's footwork during the offseason, Jake Trotter of ESPN.com reports. Coming off a deflating sophomore season in which issues with accuracy and decision-making overshadowed Mayfield's occasional splash plays, Cleveland's top offseason priority will be setting up the signal-caller up for better success in Year 3. Improved footwork technique could certainly assist in enhancing Mayfield's efficiency and mobility within the pocket, but the larger determining factor for any progress he makes in 2020 will hinge on how he adapts to the system implemented by Van Pelt and new head coach Kevin Stefanski. Of course, the 24-year-old will get the benefit of a full offseason to get acclimated with Cleveland's new coaching regime, and there will be plenty of reason for optimism about Mayfield's chances of bouncing back as he returns to a team rich in skill-position talent.
Mayfield completed 12 of 27 passes for 279 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions in the Browns' 33-23 loss to the Bengals on Sunday. He also fumbled once but recovered. Mayfield's final line was essentially a microcosm of his season -- some eye-catching plays interspersed with plenty of mistakes and inefficiency. The second-year signal-caller's disappointing sophomore campaign ends with Mayfield throwing at least one interception in six consecutive games and completing less than 50.0 percent of his passes in two of his last four contests. Especially given Sunday's results, it increasingly appears Mayfield will be playing under a new head coach and offensive system in 2020, but he'll have plenty to work on himself this offseason after getting picked off 21 times in 2019.
Mayfield completed 30 of 43 passes for 247 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in Sunday's 38-24 loss to the Cardinals. Mayfield started off well, marching the Browns into the red zone, but then overthrew Odell Beckham for an interception in the end zone to close Cleveland's first drive. From there, Mayfield continued his inconsistent play, though he at least tossed a couple touchdowns during the second half. Although both of those went to tight end Ricky Seals-Jones from within two yards, Mayfield salvaged some production in an otherwise uninspiring outing. Next up for the signal-caller is a home matchup against a Ravens defense that's significantly improved since surrendering Mayfield's season high of 342 passing yards in Week 4.
Mayfield completed 11 of 24 pass attempts for 192 yards with two interceptions Sunday against the Browns. He also carried two times for 13 yards and a touchdown in the 27-19 win. Mayfield struggled to a 46-percent completion rate as he was held under 200 yards for the third time in the last four games. He made an impact with his legs in the form of a seven-yard touchdown run, but even that wasn't enough to propel him to a useful fantasy line. Mayfield now owns an ugly 15:16 TD:INT for the season but should have opportunities to improve his numbers in next Sunday's favorable matchup against the Cardinals.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|8||11/01||Las Vegas Raiders||0.00|
|15||12/20||@New York Giants||29||23.88|
|16||12/27||@New York Jets||17||19.13|
|3 Year Avg||61.6||3776||24||18||136||2||282|