The formula for the Browns’ offense has been quite simple: Run the football and the passing game will be evolve in time.
It’s been successful over the last two weeks and has led to two straight victories for the Cleveland Browns and odds are that they won’t be going away from it anytime soon.
Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have been chewing up defenses while leading the offense to their first back-to-back 30-plus point performances since the 2010 season and has put the Browns above .500 for the first time in 84 games which was the longest active streak in the NFL prior to the 34-20 win over the Washington Football Team.
An offense that runs more than it throws may not seem to be the “sexy trend” in today’s style of NFL offenses but if it’s leading to victories, the complaints should be far away.
And yet, the complaints are there in regards towards Baker Mayfield, the Cleveland Browns quarterback.
While the Browns are winning, the criticism is still there for the third-year quarterback because he’s not making the big-time throws to lead the offense and he’s still making some mistakes and while that may be true, there’s no real reason to put down Mayfield, at least for the time being.
The more Mayfield has had to throw in his short NFL career, the success hasn’t been there. In his 33 starts, Mayfield has thrown 30 or more times in 24 of his 33 starts and has thrown 40 or more times in eight of those starts. When he has to throw 30 or more times, the Browns are 8-16 but when Mayfield has to throw 29 or less times, the Browns are 7-2.
Also add in the fact that Mayfield is on his fourth head coach and fourth offensive coordinator in three seasons, not having offseason workouts and minicamps, a different form of training camp and no preseason games and the criticism towards him isn’t completely warranted.
It’s safe to say that the offense Kevin Stefanski and Alex Van Pelt are implementing isn’t fully installed or perfected by the personnel and it could be why the coaches are trying to simplify things right now but utilizing the running game especially with two of the best running backs in the NFL.
Mayfield doesn’t need to throw the ball 30 plus times much like some of the elite quarterbacks right now and that’s okay, but if defenses ever figure out how to contain Chubb and Hunt, all eyes will be on him to see if he truly is the guy that can lead the Browns back into contention or if he’s nothing more than a game manager which once again isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the debate will rage as to whether a game manager type quarterback can lead a team to a Super Bowl.