Freddie Kitchens on Baker Mayfield's Numbers: 'I Truly Don't Look at Stats'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2019

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 3:  Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns has words with head coach Freddie Kitchens of the Cleveland Browns as they consider challenging the result of a play against the Denver Broncos in the third quarter of a game at Empower Field at Mile High on November 3, 2019 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said Wednesday he doesn't believe a glance at the numbers can provide a full assessment on the performance of quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Keith Britton of WKRK provided Kitchens' response when asked about Mayfield's 58.7 percent completion rate, which ranks last among qualified NFL quarterbacks.

"There's a lot of factors that go into that," he said. "I don't think he's just wildly missing passes. I don't really look at that. I truly do not look at stats."

Mayfield ranks 17th in passing yards per game (245.4) and 31st in passer rating (71.3) while tossing seven touchdowns and 12 interceptions across eight appearances. He rates 26th in ESPN's Total QBR.

Those stats are made more disappointing by the fact the Browns have overhauled their skill players over the past couple years to create one of the league's most dangerous offenses on paper. He's surrounded by wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway and tight end David Njoku, who's on injured reserve with a wrist injury.

Cleveland also owns a potent rushing attack led by Nick Chubb that will be bolstered by the return of Kareem Hunt from suspension.

The Browns rank 19th in total offense (346 yards per game) and 25th in scoring offense (19 points per game), which is the main reason they're just 2-6 at the season's halfway mark.

"We just didn't make the plays that were there," Mayfield told reporters after Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos. "I feel like we had a good plan. So did they, but it comes down to just executing."

If Cleveland is going to make a miraculous turnaround to reach the playoffs, it likely needs a three-game winning streak during a homestand that starts Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. That's followed by clashes with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins.

Browns fans looking for some hope can look to last year's splits for some inspiration.

Mayfield posted a 58.3 percent completion rate and 78.9 passer rating in the first half of the 2018 season after the team took him with the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Those numbers improved to 68.4 completion percentage and 106.2 passer rating in the final eight games last year.

A similar improvement combined with a favorable schedule could allow Cleveland to make a charge.

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