Baker Mayfield knows offense needs to play better in coming weeks

September 19, 2019

 For the second straight week, the Browns lost the opening coin toss and their opponent deferred to the second half. 

For the second straight week, the Browns scored on their opening drive.

If the details ended there, those outcomes would be generally viewed as a victory. Producing points is the name of the game for every NFL offense, and the Browns’ unit has done that to start each of their first two games.

The possessions afterward, though, have left a lot to be desired. 

After starting with a touchdown drive in Week 1, the Browns didn’t sniff the end zone again until two quarters later. In Week 2, after scoring on three of their first four possessions, they punted on four of their next six. And when it comes to those scoring plays, too often in two weeks, they’ve found themselves settling for field goal attempts instead of celebrating touchdowns.

In fact, that’s how Week 2 began. After Odell Beckham Jr. made a spectacular, one-handed grab down the sideline inside the Jets’ 5, the Browns failed to enter the painted area just 12 feet from the line of scrimmage. Austin Seibert trotted onto the field for a field goal attempt that resembled the old NFL extra point and gave the Browns a 3-0 lead.

Again, that produced points. But with the talent on this roster, there’s so much more left out there.

“We absolutely need to play better,” quarterback Baker Mayfield said after the Browns’ Week 2 win over the Jets. “I think that’s the biggest thing. Not losing sight that a win is a win, especially on the road, and we needed this one, but field goals early on? We’ll take points, but at the same time, we have to be able to finish those drives. We need to play better. It’s a little frustrating at times. I think I’ll be able to look at this film and get better from it.”

Cleveland’s offense was better in Week 2 than it was in Week 1, but there were still some issues. The Browns too often found themselves struggling to sustain drives. They were just 4-for-13 on third down, punted six times and were nearly even in time of possession with a Jets offense that was abysmal for most of the game due to their necessary reliance on a third-string quarterback in Luke Falk, who performed admirably despite the adverse circumstances. The Browns averaged 6.4 yards per play, but if one removes the 89-yard Beckham touchdown reception, the per-play average drops to 4.93.

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