By: Jamison Schroeder
While Cleveland sports fans normally do not want to get their hopes up too early, it’s safe to say the Cleveland Browns are a legitimate football team this season. Last Sunday the Browns defeated the Bengals by a final score of 37-34 and Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was absolutely dominant in one of the best performances of his young NFL career.
After 0 of 5 completions at the beginning of the game including an interception, Mayfield broke a Cleveland Browns record by throwing 21 for 21. His only ‘incompletion’ came from a spike to stop the clock at the end of the game before throwing the game-winning touchdown to rookie wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones. Overall Mayfield went 22-28 with 5 touchdowns and just one interception.
Other notables from the early season include the devastating injury to veteran wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. who is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Veteran tight end Austin Hooper was also out suffering appendicitis as rookie tight end Harrison Bryant stepped up and caught two touchdowns.
Since Baker Mayfield’s arrival to Cleveland, the media’s eyes have been on Cleveland as the team looks to right the ship for a city that has longed for a winning football team. The last three weeks have been debating Baker Mayfield’s legitimacy as a starting NFL quarterback.
After a historic game, Mayfield has silenced his critics. The discussion now turns to whether the Browns and Mayfield are better off with Odell Beckham Jr. While the jury may still be out on Mayfield’s ability to perform against winning teams, this game show’s franchise quarterback potential.
Although the 5-2 Browns are 3rd in their division, their records don’t trail far behind the best records in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers 6-0 and the Kansas City Chiefs 6-1.