Baker Mayfield
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

After awing onlookers with a tremendous performance earlier in the preseason, second-year Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield struggled big time against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past week.

Mayfield completed just 10-of-26 passes for 72 yards and netted 64 yards in a 13-12 loss. The youngster averaged 2.5 net passing yards per attempt. That’s about as ugly as it gets.

In talking about his quarterback’s performance, Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens didn’t hold back on Monday.

The qualifier here is that Mayfield took to the field without pretty much his entire starting skill-position group. Receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. did not suit up. Neither did starting running back Nick Chubb.

Even then, there has to be some concern here. Mayfield connected on just 3-of-7 passes to Rashard Higgins for 18 yards. He’s expected to play a big role on offense this season.

The Browns certainly are not in panic mode. They’ll rest the starters this week before preparing for Week 1 against the Tennessee Titans. At that point, Mayfield will have all of his weapons on the field.