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Throughout the history of sports, there have been a handful of athletes that have made their teammates around them better. For example, recently in Cleveland, we saw for four years the best basketball player in the world lead a group of scrappy young talented players such as Larry Nance, Jr, Matthew Dellavedova, Timofey Mozgov and Jordan Clarkson all to the NBA Finals. What allowed that? LeBron James’ gift and ability to make his teammates around him better, who alone might not be able to have success in the playoffs.
Well, now the Cleveland Browns may have found their guy to do just that. On Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium, we saw Baker Mayfield come in and completely take over a game, a stadium, a team and a city. By completing 74% of his throws for 201 yards and leading a talented Carlos Hyde to two touchdowns, he made everything about the Cleveland Browns 10 times more energetic and interesting. Not to mention the receiving corp looked even more involved than when Tyrod Taylor was in.
When Taylor was hurling at quarterback, he underthrew his receivers way too much, specifically Antonio Callaway who may have had two touchdowns last night if Taylor hit him better. But when Mayfield came in, the receivers were catching everything. He was able to hit Jarvis Landry in the chest and help him have more room to run given Mayfield’s ability to get the ball out so fast. Let’s not forget Mayfield’s huge throw to within the five-yard line that allowed Landry to go up and catch it in the perfect position. He was even able to get David Njoku in on the action, something Taylor had a hard time doing.
A good quarterback makes for better wide receivers and with an already stacked receiving corp of Landry, Njoku, Callaway, Rashad Higgins, and at times Duke Johnson, this offense could become 10 times better and 10 times more dangerous.
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