BALTIMORE -- Baker Mayfield wears his emotions on his sleeve, carrying the highs and lows with him throughout the course of a game. During Sunday night's 16-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, all Mayfield could do was shake his head.
The Cleveland Browns defense forced four interceptions out of Lamar Jackson, yet could only muster 10 points against a Ravens defense that was just as stifling. Cleveland's wounds were self inflicted, turning the ball over on its own as Jackson was throwing interceptions on three consecutive possessions.
Having the ball on Baltimore's 28-yard line with just under a minute to play in the first half, Mayfield had a mental error of his own in a 6-3 game. Facing pressure from Odafe Oweh, the Browns quarterback attempted to get rid of the ball and had it slip out his hands. The Ravens recovered the ball and the Browns had zero points to show for it.
Mayfield, obviously frustrated after the turn of events, couldn't do anything but stare. Another opportunity missed for the offense to capitalize off a strong defensive play -- the story of Cleveland's .500 season.
"When you're playing an offense like that -- as talented as they are -- we need to play better," Mayfield said after Sunday's loss. "We need to make more plays. It's as simple as that. We have to play complementary football to be a playoff team.
"Everybody has to do their job. Nothing more than that. There's a lot of things we're beating ourselves with right now."
Mayfield wasn't great by any stretch. He finished 18 of 37 for 247 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions, as the Ravens continued to send zero pressure packages at the former No. 1 pick after holding Cleveland's offense to just 40 yards rushing -- the lowest in a game under Kevin Stefanski.
The pressure was on Mayfield to carry the offense and he couldn't deliver. Battling shoulder and knee injuries throughout the year, Mayfield insists he feels a lot better physically yet the Browns still have to answer questions whether he should be out there. Stefanski even questioned a reporter when asked if Mayfield should be benched coming out of the bye week.
"To say that Baker is not battling -- I think you all know that -- but he is ready to play and ready to help the team win," Stefanski said. "I think we all are very frustrated. It stings...We're just not doing a good enough job, and that starts with me. The bottom line is, we will come in, we will look at it, we will learn from it, and then we've got to get ready for a stretch run."
The inconsistencies will plague the Browns with the injuries across the board and the helter-skelter performance on both sides of the ball. Cleveland has yet to put together a full game, yet still have a shot in the AFC playoff race.
Sunday was an opportunity wasted to be one of the seven teams in with five games to play. The mountain is going to be tougher to climb going forward.
"We haven't put together consistent weeks in a row," Mayfield said. "I think it's just a realization of 'hey you know what, it doesn't need to be a complete feel good session here.' We need to fix those mistakes and we know they're there.
"If we go in (a game) with that confidence -- and we showed a little bit of that tonight. We just have to capitalize."