|QB||Baker Mayfield||64||100%||23-of-37 (62.2%) for 204 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. 3 rushes, 11 yards. 1 catch, -8 yards.|
- Despite the loss, Baker Mayfield played very well in his second playoff game. Any time a player gets to the postseason, you wonder if they’ll fold to the pressure of the playoffs (much like Lamar Jackson has in his first three years). With Mayfield, that wasn’t an issue. Despite losing two left tackles in the same game, he withstood the Chiefs’ pass rush and delivered some remarkable throws throughout the game. I mean, think back to that fourth down throw he had to Austin Hooper. My goodness. His feel for the game since the halfway point of the season was just terrific.
- The one mistake that Mayfield made was when he threw across his body to Jarvis Landry to start the third quarter. But at least it was explainable. Cleveland was down 19-3 at the half, and still facing Patrick Mahomes, it was basically a “score now or go home mentality.” Landry did Mayfield no favors by not rolling out with his quarterback, so Mayfield bought as much time as he could and tried to take a chance. He knew it was risky and not ideal, but he did what he had to there. Fortunately, it actually didn’t end up costing Cleveland.
- Per PFF, “Mayfield finished the game with an underwhelming stat line, but he played well for most of the afternoon in a passing attack that focused primarily underneath the coverage. His average depth of target 5.6 yards downfield was nearly four yards below his season average (9.2 yards), but he hit all three of his passes that traveled 20 or more yards downfield in the game.”
|RB||Nick Chubb||33||52%||13 carries, 69 yards (5.3 YPC). 2 catches, 4 yards (5 targets).|
|RB||Kareem Hunt||33||52%||6 carries, 32 yards (5.3 YPC),1 TD. 1 catch, 2 yards (1 target).|
|RB||Andy Janovich||4||6%||No stats registered.|
- Ugh, I feel for Nick Chubb. The guy was again running well when he got the ball, but for the first time in his career, he had the dropsies. He dropped back-to-back passes in the first half, one of which was a screen pass that had a lot of room to work with.
- Kareem Hunt stunningly did not get his first touch until the second half, and he looked explosive, much like he did a week ago. Both backs had the same utilization rate, but after Hunt punched into the end zone for a fourth quarter score, part of me thinks he should’ve been the hot hand to start the next drive too for the screen pass to Chubb that fell incomplete.
|WR||Jarvis Landry||58||91%||7 catches, 20 yards (10 targets), 1 TD.|
|WR||Rashard Higgins||55||86%||5 catches, 88 yards (7 targets).|
|WR||Donovan Peoples-Jones||46||72%||1 catch, 23 yards (1 target).|
|WR||KhaDarel Hodge||8||12%||No stats registered.|
- Despite catching a touchdown pass, this wasn’t the best day for Jarvis Landry. He caught 7 passes, but only had 20 yards to show for it. One of those was a nice touchdown snag in the corner of the end zone, but he had a few instances where he didn’t seem to be on the same page as Mayfield.
- Rashard Higgins had a great game catching the ball, but dammit, that fumble at the 1 yard line for a touchback hurt so much. I think fans love Higgins so much that there is not really any animosity toward Higgins, but more so at the NFL for that rule and the officials for not flagging the hit. Hopefully the team brings Higgins back next year, although he might have earned suitors elsewhere now.
- Donovan Peoples-Jones snagged one early catch, but was flagged for offensive pass interference the only other time he was targeted. KhaDarel Hodge returned in limited duty, but was not targeted.
|TE||Austin Hooper||40||62%||2 catches, 16 yards (3 targets).|
|TE||Harrison Bryant||13||20%||0 catches (1 target).|
|TE||David Njoku||30||47%||4 catches, 59 yards (5 targets).|
- Austin Hooper only had two catches, but one of them was one of the biggest grabs of the season, where he used all hands and gripped that ball so damn tight to make sure he held on to it no matter what to convert on fourth down.
- David Njoku was again more involved on offense. He finished the game with 4 catches for 59 yards, and according to Pro Football Focus, was the team’s highest-graded offensive players with a grade of 87.2. I don’t know if he’ll be back with the team next year, but I still like having his talent on the roster.
- We got Jack Conklin to play the whole game, but we didn’t see Jedrick Wills hurting his ankle on the first snap. And we also didn’t see Kendall Lamm leaving to injury in the second half. For the second week in a row, that forced Blake Hance into extended action, this time playing left tackle. Granted, I didn’t review the film on him, but from the eye test, I didn’t see any back-breaking issues at that position that cost us the game. What Hance did the past two weeks was very impressive, given the situation.
- Wyatt Teller continued to be a mauler in the run game. Joel Bitonio got to finally take part in a playoff game.