The Browns could have gone better on Sunday.
Not only did he suffer a 45-7 blowout defeat in New England. But Baker Mayfield left the game with a knee injury and did not return.
It’s not that Mayfield has a good day to start. The Patriots held him to just 11-21 for 73 yards. He threw for a touchdown and an interception.
This is a shambolic loss to the Browns and may worsen if Mayfield is out for extended periods. The loss puts Cleveland down 5-5, another step up from the playoff picture, and it’s hard to see them climbing back with Case Keenum at quarterback.
The Browns wiped out major confusion with the departure of Odell Beckham Jr. and looked good last week when they exploded the Bengals on the road. But the Patriots, who have now won four in a row, have too much to handle.
The good news for Cleveland is that even though Mayfield missed next week’s game, he still plays the Lions, who haven’t won since they tied the Steelers on Sunday. Maybe the Browns could be without their starting quarterback.
But the Browns’ long-term outlook is still worrisome. Before the season, they were expected to compete in the playoffs, though not the Super Bowl. Right now, they’re looking far from that goal.
And Mayfield’s going to keep them away.