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Baker Mayfield Says His Performance 'Not Good Enough' During Panthers' 0-2 Start

Erin WalshSeptember 22, 2022

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers named Baker Mayfield their starting quarterback over Sam Darnold this summer, but the franchise finds itself in an 0-2 hole entering a Week 3 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

When asked to assess his performance while meeting with reporters on Wednesday, Mayfield said that he has "not been good enough," via ESPN's David Newton.

He added: "I only care about winning, no matter what my stats are. I haven’t taken care of the ball well enough. That’s pretty much the only stat I care about."

"I've got to command this group better. I have to lead better, I have to make sure everybody's on the same page to where we are executing at a much higher level," Mayfield said. "That's the biggest disappointment for me is that hasn't shown yet. So I take full ownership for that as an offense."

The Panthers acquired Mayfield in a trade with the Cleveland Browns in hopes he would be able to help the franchise turn things around. However, he's struggled mightily in his first two games under center, and he's making many of the same mistakes he did in Cleveland.

The 27-year-old has taken unnecessary risks, fumbled five times and has struggled to connect with wide-open receivers—former Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. knows a little about that.

In addition, he has completed just 53.6 percent of his passes, which ranks 34th in the NFL, for 380 yards and two touchdowns against one interception in two games. His 190 passing yards per game ranks 26th in the league and his 6.8 yards per attempt ranks 19th, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

In addition to Mayfield's struggles, the offense as a whole has struggled to find consistency, and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo is also receiving some of the blame for that.

For instance, there's a big problem when D.J. Moore, who signed a lucrative three-year extension during the offseason, and second-year receiver Shi Smith are being targeted the same amount of times in a game, as they were in Sunday's loss to the New York Giants.

It's also a problem when both players received more targets than dual-threat running back Christian McCaffrey.

So, while Mayfield needs to undoubtedly up his game, it seems the Panthers offense as a whole also needs to figure things out in order to get into a rhythm.

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