D. Ross Cameron/Associated Press
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start on Sunday, but he also threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles in the 45-42 overtime loss to the Oakland Raiders.
“I’m the quarterback of this team,” he said while shouldering responsibility for the defeat, per Pat McManamon of ESPN.com. “It’s on me.”
Mayfield’s turnovers were costly, as Gareon Conley returned the first interception for a touchdown, while the second one cut short what could have been a game-winning drive at the end of regulation. What’s more, his fumble inside his own 10-yard line and dropped snap both led to Raiders touchdowns on the ensuing possessions.
However, he was far from the only reason the Browns fell to 1-2-1 and dropped their 23rd straight road game.
The defense allowed 437 passing yards and four touchdowns to Derek Carr and 130 rushing yards to Marshawn Lynch, who looked like he was still in his prime. It also couldn’t protect a 42-34 lead with less than a minute remaining, giving up a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
Even Mayfield’s pick-six came when Antonio Callaway appeared to lose his footing and throw off the play.
Some Cleveland fans could point to the officials as well, considering a Carlos Hyde first down in the final two minutes that would have all but clinched the win was overturned by a questionable replay review.
“It had to be a heck of a review to turn that over on third down and short,” Mayfield said. “But any time you put it in somebody else’s hands, it’s not always gonna turn out your way.”
The Oklahoma product did demonstrate impressive resiliency by leading scoring drives on three straight possessions following the pick-six and flashed his potential a number of times with throws downfield.
Cleveland still has a losing record heading into the month of October, but it also has quarterback stability for the first time in years. Franchise quarterbacks accept responsibility for losses—even in games when teammates struggle—and that is exactly what Mayfield did Sunday.