Things aren’t looking very bright around the Cleveland Browns as of late. Sure, Odell Beckham Jr. left and went to Los Angeles, but the struggles in Ohio are still evident with this football team.
Fresh off a victory against the winless Detroit Lions, there are even more reasons to be concerned about the state of this team — one that made the playoffs a season ago and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After the win against the Lions, Baker Mayfield got honest on the fans booing and fired a shot in their direction, and we can only imagine how that will go over in Cleveland.
The Browns just squeaked by a bad Lions team without Jared Goff
The Lions trotted out Tim Boyle for his first career NFL start with Jared Goff dealing with an injury. The Browns countered by getting Nick Chubb back in uniform, and it looked as if it should be a blowout.
Sadly, it wasn’t. Somehow the Lions hung around and the Browns barely pulled out an ugly 13-10 victory — in Cleveland, of all places.
Mayfield threw just one touchdown pass and two interceptions on the game with a poor 15-of-29 clip through the air. It wasn’t pretty on offense, except for Chubb rushing for 130 yards on 22 carries in his usual workload.
Moreover, the Browns didn’t score one time in the entire second half, just causing the frustration in Cleveland to boil over.
Baker Mayfield throws a shot at the Browns fans for booing him
Mayfield has never been one to hide his feelings no matter what. A shower of boos came down from the Browns fans during the game, and the quarterback had his thoughts on hearing those boos (h/t Ben Axelrod of WKYC 3 News).
“Those are probably the same fans who won’t be quiet on offense when we’re trying to operate, so don’t really care.”Baker Mayfield on the boos from the fans
This isn’t exactly what you want to say to gain support from the fans, not at all.
Sure, fans booing is never an encouraging thing, but to throw a not-so-subtle shot back to the fans will only keep the frustration going in Cleveland.
The fans have every right to be frustrated. After a 3-1 start to the year, things looked to be going well in Cleveland. But, they followed that start with a pair of losses, a three-point win against Denver, and then another loss to the Steelers.
Somehow, the Browns blew out the Cincinnati Bengals on the road before getting destroyed by the New England Patriots in a game where they scored just one touchdown. Now, another poor outing against the worst team in the NFL, and some serious questions need to be raised about this team.
Nonetheless, Mayfield’s comments toward the fans aren’t music to their ears, and it will only make things worse when they return home after the bye — especially if the Browns have a poor outing against the Baltimore Ravens.
Baker Mayfield needs to improve if they want any chance at making the playoffs
This Browns team is a significant concern with the season already more than halfway over. At 6-5, the AFC North is still up for grabs and the Browns could still fight for a playoff spot even without winning the division.
But they need more from Mayfield and this offense. The issues with Beckham were evident, but he is gone and no longer can be blamed for it. The defense has done its part, and against the Lions, they frustrated the Detroit passing game.
Boyle threw for only 77 yards and a pair of interceptions, and if it weren’t for a 57-yard run by D’Andre Swift, he wouldn’t have crossed the 100-yard threshold on the ground.
The offense needs to find a way to score points. Over the past two games, they combined for just 20 points. With the Bengals game as the exception, this offense is struggling. They sit at 1st in rushing yards per game, which is no surprise, but 25th in passing yards and 19th in points scored.
Mayfield’s numbers are not pretty, either. He has thrown for 2166 yards on the year with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions in 10 games. That just isn’t going to cut it, no matter how good this defense and running game is.
Things need to change in Cleveland quickly before the fans’ patience runs thinner than it already is, and Mayfield’s latest comments certainly aren’t helping this cause.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference