The list of people frustrated by the performance of the Cleveland Browns on Sunday - even though they won — stretches from the front office to the coaching staff, players and all the way to the Muni Lot.
But no one was more frustrated than quarterback Baker Mayfield after completing just 51.7 percent of his passes and throwing two interceptions.
That boiled over after the game when Mayfield declined to talk to the media, which became a big deal in certain circles, but he remedied that situation on Monday and explained that his emotions got the best of him (quotes via a team-provided transcript):
“My guys know that all I care about is winning, but I am going to be frustrated if I do stuff to make It harder on us, and I did yesterday. That is just flat out where it was. I am never going to take winning for granted. That is something that is very hard to do in this league. It had not been a very common thing around here for a long time. I am just frustrated with how I played, and that is how I have always been. They know I am going to come back and attack this week.
“Not one part of (not talking after the game) is not being accountable. I would be the first to tell you I played like [expletive]. It is not about [accountability], and I do not owe you guys any of that; I owe that to my teammates and I talked to them so that is what matters.”
Mayfield’s play this season has yet to match what he delivered over the second half of last season, in large part because of injuries to his shoulder, knee and foot. But there are only four teams in the AFC with more wins than the Browns, and the upcoming home-and-home series with the Baltimore Ravens provides an opportunity for the Browns to salvage the season, Mayfield said.
“This is a huge, huge game for us because it is the next one and it is a division opponent. Big-picture wise, everybody wants to act like the world is falling. No, we have not played to our potential, and we know that more than anybody because we sit there and watch the film and we know what we are supposed to do. We have six wins, and the Ravens are leading the division with seven. We know what is at stake. We know what we need to do, and that is how we are going to handle it this week.”
Nothing has been easy for the Browns this season and that was highlighted on Sunday as they struggled to put away a Detroit Lions team that has not won a game all season. They still beat the Lions, however, something the Pittsburgh Steelers cannot say, and they did not need an NFL-record field goal to do it the way the Baltimore Ravens did.
As frustrating as the first 11 weeks have been at times, the Browns can make that all irrelevant if they can find a way to break their three-game losing streak to the Ravens and take care of business these next two games.
It would be nice if the defense could chip in after giving up 116 points in those three losses; if not then the spotlight will shine brightest on Mayfield and the offense.
This time, hopefully, that light will not reveal a continuation of the frustration that everyone has been feeling this season.