Posted on September 29, 2019, by Travis Pulver
It had appeared as if two of the more popular storylines of the offseason had been disproved heading into Week Four. The Cleveland Browns were expected to be this great team with a shot at winning the Super Bowl and the Baltimore Ravens with their ‘running’ quarterback would not.
But after three weeks, many were more willing to right off the Browns and jump on the Ravens bandwagon with the two teams had played so far. However, with how their Week Four game played out, fans may want to wait before jumping to any conclusions.
Against the Ravens, Baker Mayfield and the Browns looked a lot like the team fans thought they were going to see Week One in Sunday’s 40-25 win. Mayfield had his best passing day of the season by far completing 20 of 30 attempts for 342 yards and a touchdown along with one interception.
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“We know how good we can be. That’s the frustrating part about how we started,” Mayfield said after the game, via ESPN. “We just need to do our job, and that’s what guys did this week.”
But it wasn’t Odell Beckham Jr. helping him look good (two catches for 20 yards; targeted seven times). Instead, it was Jarvis Landry with eight catches for 167 yards and tight end Ricky Seals-Jones with three catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.
However, the real star of the day was running back Nick Chubb who had 165 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries.
Of course, a key component in the victory was the defense containing Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. While he ended the day with 313 yards of total offense (247 passing and 66 rushing) and three touchdowns, the Browns held him at bay for the first three-quarters of the game.
However, early in the fourth quarter, the Ravens did pull within six, 24-18, following a 14-play, 75-yard drive. But then the Browns answered with an 88-yard touchdown run to stretch the lead back out to 12-points, 30-18.
Then turnovers on their next three possessions (on downs and two interceptions) led to a touchdown and field goal for the Browns effectively putting the game out of reach for the Ravens.
After getting demolished by the Tennessee Titans in Week One, many were ready to dismiss the Browns as potential contenders. Following an unimpressive win over the Jets and a mistake-filled loss to the Rams, many even wondered if head coach Freddie Kitchens would keep his job through the Browns bye week (Week Seven).
As for the Ravens, some were willing to anoint Lamar Jackson as a superstar quarterback and an MVP candidate following wins over the two worst teams in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins, and Arizona Cardinals. But back-to-back subpar outings by Jackson and losses are forcing fans to put things into perspective.
So, maybe they were too quick to turn on the Browns, and maybe Lamar Jackson hasn’t quite figured out how to play quarterback in the NFL yet. But does that mean it is time to throw support behind the Browns and Jackson under the bus?
Absolutely not. It just means fans should wait and see before passing judgment on anyone.