Is Baker Mayfield the key to success for the Browns?
Last Thursday evening marked a moment in history. With a 21-17 victory over the New York Jets, the Browns won their first game in over 600 days. One could argue that had it not been for one man, that victory may not have happened. After an abysmal first half, then starter Tyrod Taylor went down with a concussion, leading head coach Hue Jackson to put in the number one overall pick Baker Mayfield to take over.
His impact was immediate, as a few impressive passes gave the Browns their first points in the game. 14 unanswered points (and one Philly Special) later, and Browns fans were treated with a momentous and much-needed win. Now with news that he's going to be the starter for the Browns' next game, the fanbase could be getting a glimpse into the future of their team. But is Baker Mayfield the savior that so many fans have been asking for?
Ever since returning to the league in 1999, the Cleveland Browns have been searching for their marquee quarterback. A lot of talent has come through this team in recent years on both sides of the ball but circumstances have led to each and every one of them either leaving the team or falling by the wayside.
Dozens of men have held the title of quarterback yet, save for perhaps one or two, they have all failed to be the leader that this team needed. The Browns are in desperate need of both continuity and competence at the QB position, and one could argue that the Texas-born rookie could hold the key.
There has been no escaping the criticism for Mayfield. He has faced everything from comparisons to Johnny Manziel to questions about his attitude and ability to lead as a result of his attitude.
Say what you will, but there is no denying that he was put in the pressure cooker last week and he came out of it looking like a star. Finishing the game with a QB rating of 95 after only a half of play is nothing to sneeze at, and while he did not throw for any touchdowns, he made some key passes that led to both of Carlos Hyde's touchdown runs.
Baker Mayfield was ready for the moment, and one could surmise that he is ready to embrace the moment as the new starting quarterback when the Browns face the Raiders this Sunday.
With a full week to prepare and get acquainted with the offensive line and his receivers, Baker Mayfield could very well do some damage to an already lackadaisical Raiders defense. The future of the Browns is now, and here's hoping that the clock doesn't strike midnight any time soon.