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Cleveland Browns’ Baker Mayfield calls himself out after ‘piss poor’ performance

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is quickly turning into a perfectionist. By virtue of their 14-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings in a defensive slug-fest, the Browns find themselves at 3-1 for the second consecutive season.

Cleveland’s latest win had more to do with a stingy defense than the performance of its former Heisman winner.

Mayfield completed a mere 15-of-33 passes for 155 yards without a touchdown or an interception. He also completed 2-of-7 passes for Odell Beckham Jr.

After the game, Baker Mayfield took exception with his performance. More than that, it seems that he was fully prepared to call himself out.

“I pride myself on being extremely accurate, and today I don’t know what the hell that was,” Mayfield told reporters, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “[The defense played] good enough for us to win when I’m playing quarterback like that,” Mayfield said. “Thankful they played like that. That’s a really good offense [the Vikings have], so for [our defense] to play lights out like that, we’re lucky to have them on our side.”

The quarterback expanded on his thought process some.

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“I have to pick it up because if I think that piss-poor performance is going to cut it, it’s not. So I’ll get better, but luckily we can lean on those guys and run the ball when we need to.”

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Baker Mayfield taking on leadership for the Cleveland Browns

cleveland browns' baker mayfield
Oct 3, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) heads to the huddle with running back Kareem Hunt (27) and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Sure fans in Ohio would have liked to see their quarterback play better football. But Browns fans will take a win any which way they can get one after struggles over the past two decades-plus.

As for Mayfield, his post-game comments tell us a story of a young quarterback who has matured into a leadership role.

This was a major question mark when Cleveland made Mayfield the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. How would he respond to a bad performance? How might he react to criticism being levied in his direction.

Even after a substandard performance (by his standards), Mayfield took ownership. That has to be seen as a great sign for the Browns heading into a difficult stretch of games against the Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos.

Related: Where does Baker Mayfield stand among NFL quarterbacks right now?