Baker Mayfield headed into the Bengals game Thursday night with his back against the wall and the whole world doubting him.
Even Browns future Hall of Fame left Joe Thomas said this week that Mayfield knows he must prove himself this season ‘or they might have to find somebody else.’
He was coming off a bad game in Baltimore and couldn’t afford to fall to 0-2, especially not against a rookie quarterback and fellow No. 1 overall pick in Joe Burrow. His chemistry and effectiveness with Odell Beckham Jr. was called into serious question.
So how did he respond? He completed 16 of 23 attempts for 219 yards and two touchdowns -- including a 43-yarder Beckham — and one interception en route to a 110.6 rating to beat the Bengals 35-30 and hand Kevin Stefanski his first victory as head coach. He wasn’t sacked despite right tackle Jack Conklin sitting out with an ankle injury and Chris Hubbard replacing him.