The Cleveland Browns were expected to make a quarterback change this past Monday and it’s now official. Head coach Hue Jackson announced after practice that Baker Mayfield is the new starting quarterback for the Browns.
Since the Browns return to Cleveland in 1999, the team has started 29 quarterbacks. When asked how Mayfield felt about being number 30, well, his response said it all.
Baker was asked about becoming the 30th Browns starting QB since '99:
Mayfield made his debut one to remember, entering the game late in the second quarter after Tyrod Taylor left with a concussion. Down 14-0 on Thursday Night Football the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft put the league on notice.
The atmosphere was absolutely electrifying and Mayfield took full advantage of it. He not only rejuvenated his team but the crowd as well. The Browns went on to earn their first victory in 635 days by a score of 21-17.
The Cleveland Browns will take on the Oakland Raiders (0-3) on Sunday where Mayfield is set to make is first career start. Not only is he coming off that shocking comeback victory in the national spotlight, the rookie quarterback has a long week to prepare for Sunday’s Week 4 showdown.
The Raiders, under new coach Jon Gruden, have under-performed thus far in 2018. Gruden is fresh off signing a 10-year deal worth $100 million. So the rough start is not what the team or fans expected. Quarterback Derek Carr, someone the Browns have been scrutinized for passing on in the 2014 NFL Draft, has also been underwhelming this season as both still look to notch their first win as a tandem in 2018.
The Raiders defense is not as intimidating as it was in recent years. Of course, the team elected to trade All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack just last month and they have had issues getting to the quarterback ever since. This should provide Mayfield with a favorable match up in his first career start in hostile territory.
It was quite obvious how improved the passing attack was upon Mayfield’s entry against the New York Jets. However what’s not being mentioned enough is how well the Browns running backs, Carlos Hyde in particular, improved as well.
The Cleveland Browns defense has been spectacular so far and is also a major reason why the team feels comfortable moving forward with Mayfield as the starting quarterback. Through three games they’ve forced 11 turnovers – an NFL high.
However, the Taylor-led offense was unable to convert on a majority of those free possessions. With Baker Mayfield under center, though, that will be a different story.
Mayfield has officially been handed the keys to the Cleveland Browns franchise.
#Browns QB Baker Mayfield: "I didn't come here just to win one game, and I didn't come here to just start the next. We're building a franchise here."
— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) September 24, 2018
He proved his talent last Thursday in his unbelievable comeback victory against the quarterback many thought should have been the top overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft in Sam Darnold. Now he is out for much, much more and that is good new for Browns fans.
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