The disconnect between Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. is something “we have to get to the bottom of this,” says Kevin Stefanski.


BALTIMORE – Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. both thought their chemistry would be better this season after going through an entire season together, but they got off to a horrific start in the Browns’ 38-6 loss to the Ravens in Game 1. opening of the Sunday season.

If they don’t reunite soon, it will be a long season for both of them and a waste of Beckham’s immense talent.

In one of the more disappointing aspects of a lousy game, Mayfield and Beckham looked no better together than most of the time last season, when nearly half of Beckham’s goals were incomplete.

Against the Ravens, Beckham was targeted 10 times, but only caught three passes for 22 yards. It was reminiscent of last season, when Beckham had just two catches for 20 yards in the Browns’ 40-25 win here. In the third quarter on Sunday, Mayfield again forced the ball to Beckham with disappointing results.

“Yeah, we haven’t logged in there many times,” said coach Kevin Stefanski. “We have to get to the bottom of it, obviously. The passing game requires the precision of 11 players to make it go. “

This season, the Browns have no excuse that Beckham can’t train because of his abdominal muscle surgery, and as a result, they haven’t been able to reduce their timing. He was healthy throughout training camp – although he only included 14 padded workouts – and they had a lot of reps this time around.

“A few times I targeted him, there were defensive penalties, so I would say that had something to do with that,” Mayfield said. “But I have to do better to give him a chance on some of those things, free play late in the game (on an offside penalty), just give him a chance. He’s a great player, so I have to give him a chance. “

On Beckham’s most memorable target, he dropped a crucial pass third and second in the red zone, with the Browns trailing just 17-6 late in the second period. Either Beckham scores there or the Browns convert and try to cut the deficit. Instead, Austin Seibert, who will likely lose his job to practice team Cody Parkey this week or soon due to the short week, made a 41-yard wide right-hand field goal attempt.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson took over with 41 seconds left in the half and put another touchdown on the board with 6 seconds left in the half for a 24-6 lead. For all intents and purposes, the game is over, so the drop was significant.

On Beckham’s first goal of the game, with 10:05 left in the second quarter, he grabbed the mask from cornerback Marcus Peters and was signaled 15 yards to put the Browns in a first and 29. It was the One of the Browns’ three mask penalties – the other two were on returns – that angered Stefanski.

It was a frustrating game for Beckham, who caught a short pass to the right in the third quarter but went out of bounds first. Two games later, Mayfield looked for him third and 10 in the middle, and Peters knocked him down. Earlier, safety Chuck Clark tipped over and nearly intercepted a pass intended for Beckham.

Part of the problem is that the Ravens have two Pro Bowl cornerbacks in Humphrey and Peters who are physically playing, hitting and pushing the limits with their aggression.

“I’ve said it before: Marcus Peters is one of the smartest corners I’ve ever seen in the game,” Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale said recently.

Beckham won’t be meeting Peters and Humphrey every week, and he will undoubtedly do his parts. If he doesn’t, he’ll be frustrated, and the last thing the Browns need again this season is a frustrated Beckham and Landry, who caught 5 of 6 targets but for just 61 yards.

Even tight winger Austin Hooper, who expected to lead the team in the opening game receptions, caught just two for 15. If the team’s star players are worried, Stefanski will have to throw a long one. look at Mayfield and determine if he’s ready to do it. lead this team.

Overall, Mayfield, who had plenty of time to pitch, completed just 21 of 39 attempts for 189 yards, with a touchdown, 1 yard to Njoku and an interception by Humphrey off the second pass in the Calais Campbell’s back-to-back bat on the Browns. ‘first reader.

The opening pick seemed to bring down the Browns’ sails, and the mistakes snowballed over them.

What they can’t let go is that their franchise quarterback and star receiver are not on the same page.

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