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Baker Mayfield’s four-interception debacle in Green Bay on Christmas not only cost the Browns a chance to win in their 24-22 loss to the Packers, but likely cost them a shot at the playoffs in the muddled AFC.
The performance will not cost Mayfield his job over the final two games, however.
“He’s our starting quarterback, yes,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said after the loss.
Mayfield, 26, threw three interceptions in the first half, and Aaron Rodgers went on to throw touchdown passes on the drives after each of those turnovers. The Browns (7-8) are in 13th place in the AFC.
“I hurt this team,” said Mayfield, who was activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday. “That’s the most frustrating thing for me because I thought our defense played tremendous against a really, really good offense. But when you turn the ball over … and give them extra opportunities, they’re gonna take advantage of it. That’s just who they are.”
Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in 2018, completed 21 of 36 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. In 13 games this season, he has thrown for 2,825 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions while completing 62.4 percent of his passes.
In April, the Browns exercised Mayfield’s fifth-year option, which will pay him $18.8 million in 2022. But games like Saturday’s bring into question whether Mayfield is Cleveland’s long-term answer at quarterback.
Albert Breer of the MMQB said last week he believes the Browns “are going to be a player for Deshaun Watson.”