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The Broulis Report: Thoughts on the playoff loss and Mayfield

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A tough end to a really good 2020 season for the Cleveland Browns. I’ll take a look back at the loss in Kansas City and other parts, here on the Broulis Report.

THE GAME-

Let’s start with what turned out to be a good game. I, for one, did not see this being a 22-17 game. I expected both teams to score in the upper 30’s or 40’s.

I heard some people felt Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski should’ve chosen to send the offense out on the field first, so they could potentially score first and force the Chiefs to play from behind. I understand the thinking, but there’s no guarantees that Cleveland would score first and even then, they’d still have to stop a great Kansas City offense. I would rather get a stop or two, get some points before halftime and get the ball to begin the third quarter.

The Chiefs have a lot of weapons for the defense to worry about. I think that was a big reason Kansas City backup QB Chad Henne was able to scramble on third and 18. That being said, you can’t let Chad Henne be the guy to pretty much end your season. All the Browns defenders were too busy with their responsibilities, that they forgot about the quarterback.

The Rashard Higgins play is very weird. I’m hearing some say that Higgins shouldn’t have extended out and settled for a 1st in goal situation. I give credit to Rashard Higgins for giving it his all. Let’s talk about the helmet to helmet no call on Chiefs defender Daniel Sorensen. He led with his helmet and there was no call. That should have been a penalty. That was a big miss by the officiating crew and one could argue, that was a 10-point swing in favor of Kansas City. No touchdown for Cleveland and a field goal for the Chiefs. The other thing that bothered me, is the rule of the touchback. This rule has bothered me for a long time. I think it’s a bad rule for the defense to get the ball back, especially if they didn’t do anything. At worst, the offense should get the ball back and to replay the down. That’s the opinion off the top of my head.

Now, the Chiefs need a first down to end the game. Being in a short yardage situation is tough on any defense trying to stop the Chiefs. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill got the ball and picked up the first down easily. That is the game there.

BAKER MAYFIELD-

I thought Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield played a good game. He seemed to have some trouble early getting into the flow. Mayfield threw one pick to Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu who was behind WR Jarvis Landry. It was a nice play by Mathieu. Baker played a really good game and if Cleveland could’ve gotten the ball back, I was confident that Mayfield could’ve taken Cleveland down the field to take the lead.

At the beginning of the season, I wasn’t sure if the Browns should sign him to an extension. I’m now more confident than ever that they should pick up his 5th year option.

Mayfield got better all season long. He was good before the bye-week and even better after the bye-week. From what I know, he stayed in town and worked with the coaching staff and looked over film to find areas where he could improve. In 2018, Baker had a completion rate of just under 70, 14 interceptions and 27 touchdowns. In 2019, his completion percentage dropped to 59 with 21 INT’s and 22 TD’s. In 2020, his completion percentage went back up to around 62 with 8 picks and 26 touchdowns. Mayfield improved and quite a bit. He also started throwing the ball away more often in the second half more to avoid any really bad plays.

My point is, Baker is going to get better and this off-season, he doesn’t have to learn a new offense. That, in itself, is a huge relief to him.

 


Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis

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