Cleveland Browns fans got their first live-action glimpse at Baker Mayfield in Friday night’s preseason contest against the Buffalo Bills. While the Browns’ starting offensive line imposed its will in the run game for much of the first half, the backup unit that took the field with Mayfield left a lot to be desired in regards to pass protection early on. On the night, the rookie QB went 7/13 for 75 yards in five drives.
Tonight’s starter, Tyrod Taylor, and Mayfield warm up side-by-side before kickoff.
Mayfield’s highly anticipated homefield debut began with four minutes remaining in the second quarter. In his lone first-half series, he completed 2/2 passing attempts for a net of zero yards.
For the first three Mayfield-led drives (not including the one-play kneel-down to end the first half), Cleveland’s offense looked abysmal, going three-and-out in each instance. It wasn’t until mid-way through the third quarter that the Browns’ backup unit finally found an offensive rhythm with a couple of nine-yard completions and this 26-yard connection with Devon Cajuste.
From that point on, you could tell Mayfield was feeling it. On his next and final drive, the Heisman Trophy winner showed some of the reasons why he’s such a dynamic playmaker. He used his feet and awareness to evade multiple sack attempts, and aside from one ill-advised throw across his body, he made smart choices and was accurate with the ball.
A beautiful one-yard fade appeared to be good for a touchdown, but was ultimately reviewed and reversed.
Baker Mayfield touchdown pass on the fade. Feels like the fade is a lost art. Good catch, could have been called a push off. pic.twitter.com/ln3E1vQNrc— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) August 18, 2018
Still, the drive was a success, as rookie running back Nick Chubb capped off the possession with a trip to the end zone.
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