Tonight at 8:00 p.m./ ET, the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns are expected to have the first of their two AFC North battles, kicking off Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season.
Cleveland and Cincinnati both started off their season with a loss in Week 1. The Bengals lost 16-13 to the Los Angeles Chargers in atrocious fashion, while the Browns continued “Browning” by getting pummeled by the Baltimore Ravens 38-6.
Some unreal endings today. First in Detroit and now in Cincinnati. Randy Bullock missed a 31-yard game-tying FG and the #Chargers hold on to win 16-13. pic.twitter.com/EVif8xocNH
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 13, 2020
Obviously, both teams are looking to bounce back. Each respective team will be looking to be led by their number one overall pick quarterbacks: Baker Mayfield and Joe Burrow.
So which one of those two would you rather have? If recency bias says anything, the answer is Joe Burrow. That may just be me, but I don’t think I am alone.
Granted, Mayfield has the larger sample size compared to Burrow’s one game, but based on how he handled the constant pressure from the vaunted Chargers pass rush I think an argument can already be made. Mayfield has gotten progressively worse under pressure, while Burrow seemed to take it in stride on Sunday.
2015 at Oklahoma: No. 1 in nation
2016 at Oklahoma: No. 1 in nation
2017 at Oklahoma: No. 1 in nation
2018 in Cleveland: No. 17 out of 38
2019 in Cleveland: No. 34 out of 37
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 23, 2019
Ever since his rookie season, Baker Mayfield has seemed to regress. There are multiple examples from last year -and this past Sunday- that the former Oklahoma Sooner is not getting any better.
I’m going to bed. pic.twitter.com/sHiyL5ntME
— Jake Burns (@jake_burns18) September 17, 2020
The Browns were supposed to be contenders LAST year but that didn’t happen. And after Week 1 against the Ravens, I can’t say I envision them being in position for a Wild Card spot in the AFC.
With football anything is possible, but there seems to be this toxicity with the Browns that no new coach or quarterback can fix. Mayfield does have the chance to prove he is that guy to lead the franchise, but his time is coming up. Cleveland hasn’t been to the postseason since 2002 when Kelly Holcolmb was their QB. It might even be possible new Browns coach Kevin Stefanski brings in backup Case Keenum who signed a 3-year $18 million deal with Cleveland this offseason.
So with Mayfield seemingly getting worse and the Browns becoming less and less patient, the pressure is on. And when the pressure is on to win a Week 2 game against the team that just selected number one overall I can’t expect many positives forthcoming for Mayfield or the Browns.
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– Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)