Baker Mayfield failed to get his revenge in opposition to the Cleveland Browns thank you in component to what Carolina Panthers running lower back Christian McCaffrey known as “horrid” roughing the passer penalty on protecting cease Brian Burns, however he came near.
After looking dreadful for almost 3 quarters, Mayfield led the Panthers to 17 fourth-sector points and the lead earlier than the Browns spoiled his revenge birthday party with a fifty eight-backyard area intention by using rookie kicker Cade York with 8 seconds left.
The game-triumphing power became aided with the aid of a roughing the passer penalty on the primary play that gave Cleveland a primary down at its very own forty. Head referee Brad Rogers stated the call was made because there was “forcible touch to the head and neck area.”
McCaffrey noticed it differently.
“It was a horrid name,” he said.
The 26-24 loss left Mayfield 0-4 in NFL openers, which include 0-three with the Browns.
“all people made this game out to be the extremely good Bowl,” Mayfield stated. “however no matter what all and sundry is going to make of this, there is 16 more video games. The outstanding Bowl isn’t till February.”
Mayfield shouldered tons of the duty for this loss due to a slow begin by him and the offense. He was 10-for-19 for one hundred and one yards with four balls tipped at the line of scrimmage, an interception and two sacks inside the first 1/2. He also muffed a snap inside the shotgun.
He completed with 5 tipped passes at the road, a trend that started in Cleveland wherein his 44 passes batted down at the line from 2018-2021 were the maximum within the NFL.
“I ought to do a better task of finding angles and home windows to throw it, and we’ve got to get their palms down,” Mayfield stated. “however this group fought. It truly is why that is so disappointing.”
Mayfield’s best big play inside the half turned into a 50-backyard finishing touch to tight end Ian Thomas, who was huge open down the middle of the sector.
It were given so bad that he become booed for the first time after being compelled to throw the ball away under stress to cease the fifth of his seven possessions.
There additionally were boos because the Panthers left for the locker room at halftime down 17-7. It changed into so awful that Quincy Avery, the private passing train for suspended Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, tweeted: “it is the Baker we realize and love.”
Mayfield eventually confirmed some of the power the Panthers have been searching out out of him late in the third area and early into the fourth area with a touchdown pressure he capped with a 7-backyard scramble up the middle.
He then confirmed a number of the emotion he has throughout his career, slamming the ball into the padded stadium wall after cutting the lead to 20-14.
“he’s the last fighter,” offensive defend Brady Christensen stated of Mayfield.
After a Cleveland discipline intention, Mayfield threw a 75-backyard touchdown pass to Robbie Anderson to trim the result in 23-21 with 6:02 closing.
He then led Carolina to a pass-in advance subject purpose with just over one minute to play, putting the degree for York’s game winner that left York celebrating and Mayfield disenchanted.
“I typically say I do not have fun kicks,” York said. “That one become a little bit distinct.”
Mayfield finished 16-for-27 for 235 yards.
“I idea Baker stood in there and took all the bullets and gave the performs that gave us a danger to win,” Panthers teach Matt Rhule said.
The Browns gave up on Mayfield after the 2021 season wherein he went 6-8 whilst struggling with with an harm to his non-throwing shoulder. They traded for Watson for the duration of the offseason, prompting Mayfield to invite for a change from the team that made him the first select of the 2018 draft.
He underwent what Carolina known as an “open” opposition with 2021 starter Sam Darnold for the beginning task, even though league sources stated it changed into Mayfield’s activity to lose all along. He formally turned into named the starter on Aug. 22.
He never made a big deal about going through his former group before Sunday, saying it’s a “suitable storyline” but he become focused on doing his activity.
“obviously, there may be a number of attachment there,” Mayfield stated of the Browns after being named the Panthers’ starter. “i’m not going to take a seat right here and be a robot and say it doesn’t suggest something. It’ll.”
However it wasn’t an emotional day in the feel beyond so-known as revenge video games had been for Mayfield within the NFL and university.
“it is usually appropriate to peer acquainted faces,” Mayfield said. “Emotional? I wouldn’t positioned too much into that. We failed to finish, basically due to the fact we failed to start fast.”
It turned into all hugs and smiles for Mayfield before kickoff as he greeted lots of his former teammates, coaches and managers.
There were more hugs and less smiles after the sport.
“a number of anticipation,” Mayfield stated. “we’re going to flush this. We’re going to be better from it.”