BALTIMORE – Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. both believed their chemistry would be better this season than being together all season, but they had a terrible start during the Braves’ 38-6 defeat in Sunday’s season opener.
If they don’t take it together soon, it will be a long season for both of them, and a waste of Beckham’s immense talent.
In one of the most disappointing aspects of the ugly game, Mayfield and Beckham looked no better than most of the time last season when nearly half of Beckham’s goals were incomplete.
Against the Ravens, Beckham was targeted at game-high 10 times, but caught only three passes for 22 yards. It was reminiscent of last season, when Beckham caught just two catches for 20 yards in the Browns’ 40-25 win here. By the third quarter Sunday, Mayfield forced Beckham to bowl again with disappointing results.
Coach Yes Stefanski said, “Yes, we didn’t connect there a few times.” We have to get to the bottom of this, obviously. In a nearby game it requires precision from 11 people to go. “
This season, the Browns have no excuse that Beckham could not practice due to his core muscle surgery, and therefore could not reduce his time. He was healthy throughout the training camp – although it only included 14 padded exercises – and he had plenty of delegates this time around.
“Some time I targeted him, there were some defensive penalties, so I’d say it had something to do with it,” Mayfield said. “But I’ve got a chance to do something better. Those things, playing late in the game (on the offside penalty), just give him a chance. He’s a great player, so I have to give him a chance.”
On Beckham’s most memorable goal, he missed a crucial pass on third-and-2 in the Red Zone and trailed just 17-6 in the second half. Either Beckham scores there or the Brons convert and try to trim the deficit. Instead, Austin Seibert, who will likely lose his job to practice Cody Pardy due to a short week this week or soon, gave a wide right to a 41-yard field goal attempt.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson took the remaining 41 seconds in the half to put another touchdown on the board with a 24-6 lead at the half in 6 seconds. For all intents and purposes, the game is over, so the drop gets bigger.
Beckham gave up his first goal of the game, with 10:05 left in the second quarter, he caught the facemask of cornerback Marcus Peters and Brown was flagged for 29 yards on 15 carries for 15 yards. It was one of three Browns pemask penalties – the other two were on the return – with Stephansky irked.
It was a disappointing game for Beckham, who caught a short pass to the right in the third quarter, but went out of bounds first. After two plays, Mayfield looked for him between the third and 10 overs and was knocked out by Peters. Earlier, safety Chuck Clarke dodged and nearly intercepted a pass to Beckham.
Part of the problem is that Raffens has two Pro Bowl cornerbacks in Humphrey and Peters, who play physical, pass through and push the envelope with their aggression.
“I’ve said it before: Marcus Peters is one of the smartest corners I’ve ever seen playing the game,” Rance defensive coordinator Don Martindale said recently.
Beckham would not run into Peters and Humphrey every week, and he would undoubtedly make his plays. If he doesn’t, he will be disappointed, and the last thing the Browns need again this season is the frustrated Beckham and Laundries, who managed 5-of-6 goals but only 61 yards.
Even tight end Austin Hooper, who thought to lead the team in receptions in the opener, only caught two of 15. If the team’s star players become restless, Stefanski will have to keep a long, close watch on Mayfield and determine if they are ready to lead this team.
Overall, Mayfield, who had plenty of time to throw, completed just 21 attempts for 189 yards, including a TD, a 1-yard pass from Njoku, and a blocking Humphrey second batting pass from Calais Campbell. Passed in a row over Browns. ‘First campaign.
Pique seems to have taken Brown’s sail out of the air, and mistakes snowed on him.
What they cannot continue is their franchise quarterbacks and star receivers not being on the same page.
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