Baker Mayfield has spent all of 2022 trying to prove he is still a franchise quarterback in the NFL. That quest began when the Cleveland Browns acquired Deshaun Watson, kicking their former No. 1 overall pick to the curb.
However, Sunday’s performance against the Baltimore Ravens was an epic disaster for the signal-caller and his Carolina Panthers. The defense did its job, holding Lamar Jackson and company to 13 total points on the day. That in itself is a huge feat and one that sets up a team to win.
However, the Carolina offense was abysmal, led by Mayfield. So how does another awful performance affect his future chances of being a full-time starter.
Baker Mayfield failed to seize a fantastic opportunity
This has to be it, right? The former No. 1 overall pick had a shot to go on the road and shock the Ravens thanks to his defense holding Jackson in check. Instead, he tossed two interceptions, including one at the end of the game that was batted down at the line. This is something Browns fans saw for years with Baker Mayfield.
His final line read 21/33 for 196 yards and no touchdowns. It is fair to note that the Carolina offense is much different without Christian McCaffrey in the fold. But that meant an even bigger opportunity for Mayfield to prove he can command an offense on his own.
Unfortunately, he is proving the Browns were right in moving on to Watson. He continues to make the same mistakes and a batted ball at the line of scrimmage proves he has still not adjusted to playing at his height. Mistakes happening over and over again prove there is a lack of development.
The loss dropped the Panthers to 3-8, further cementing this as a rebuilding year for the franchise. As for Mayfield, he may have blown his shot not only for the future, but for the remainder of the season as well.
Another dismal outing likely means Sam Darnold gets a shot to prove himself as the Panthers prepare for an offseason focused on finding a long-term quarterback.
The former top pick wanted a chance to start and prove himself. Regardless of the talent around him, he is not showing any positive signs. It’s just not enough to get a team to sign him to start in 2023. Sunday’s showing likely means he is officially looking for backup jobs starting Monday.