Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had an impressive day on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers in leading the Browns to their fourth home win of the season.
Mayfield finished the game 18-of-22 (with three of those incompletions coming on drops) for 238 yards and a highlight-reel touchdown pass to wide receiver Jarvis Landry. That performance earned the rookie a place on Pro Football Focus’ Team of the Week for Week 14:
Mayfield has been fantastic as a rookie, and he delivered his finest performance to date in the win over the Panthers. Going 18-for-22, Mayfield saw three passes dropped by his receivers meaning that he had just one true incompletion. He also delivered multiple highlight reel throws, including a perfect touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry where he moved to his left before delivering the ball exactly where it needed to be.
With three games remaining in the season, Mayfield now has 2,877 passing yards and 19 touchdown passes, giving him a very real change at cracking the franchise’s Top 10 list in both categories. Mayfield needs just 508 passing yards to bump Brandon Weeden (3,385 yards in 2012) from the No. 10 spot, and five touchdown passes to move past Bill Nelsen (23 touchdowns in 1969) for No. 10.
It can be bit foolish to project stats out over a full season, but lets have a little bit of fun here.
Brian Sipe is the only quarterback in franchise history to surpass 4,000 passing yards and throw for 30 touchdowns in a single season. He accomplished both of those feats in his MVP season of 1980 when he threw for 4,132 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Mayfield has made 10 starts this season and if you project his numbers — 267.6 yards and 1.9 touchdowns — from those games over a full season, he would have 4,281 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Today's 18-of-22 performance marked the second time this season Baker Mayfield has thrown fewer than 5 incompletions.— Andrew Gribble (@Andrew_Gribble) December 9, 2018
Which, if you are keeping score at home, is pretty darn good.
While it might seem as if Mayfield’s performance is no big deal for a player selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, his on-field success is a result of his work during the week, as head coach Gregg Williams told clevelandbrowns.com:
He has worked extremely hard for his success. It is not something that has just happened by happenstance. The amount of work that he puts in does not shock us that he also takes it to the ball game because he works extremely hard to have an overall understanding of every aspect of the game. That does not come easy. Sometimes young guys, it takes a little bit longer for them to get that, maybe playing in a preparation week and a work week you need to have from going from the college to the pros. I have been around a lot of very successful guys that level, a quarterback at this level, and we all kind of pass on somethings to him that what it would take to do. He bought into it.
The Browns have been searching for a quarterback for more than two decades. It may only be 10 games, but it seems like that quest has finally come to an end.