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Browns QB Baker Mayfield explains why he missed Odell Beckham Jr. on late throw vs. Vikings

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield explained why he missed a crucial throw to Odell Beckham Jr. on Sunday.

BEREA, Ohio — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.

Ever since they played their first game together for the Cleveland Browns in 2019, there has been speculation that Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. lack chemistry.

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If true, it's never been more apparent than it was on Sunday.

Despite being tied for the team lead in targets with seven, Beckham hauled in just two catches for a meager 27 yards in the Browns' 14-7 win vs. the Minnesota Vikings. And while Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski explained that one reason for Beckham's underwhelming stat line is that the Browns target him on deeper, lower percentage passes, there was one play in particular that underscored the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver's apparent lack of chemistry with his quarterback.

Facing a third-and-five with just 1:13 remaining in the game and Minnesota down to its final timeout, Mayfield took a shotgun snap from the Browns' 38 yard-line. After briefly rushing to his right, the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft locked in on Beckham, who had run past Vikings safety Harrison Smith and appeared to be wide open up the sideline.

Had Mayfield hit Beckham with the pass, it appeared to be a surefire touchdown -- or at the very least, a completion to seal the game. Instead, Mayfield threw to Beckham's back shoulder, with the uncatchable ball bouncing to the ground for an incompletion, forcing the Browns to punt.

While some speculated that Mayfield, who had struggled with his accuracy throughout the game, had simply underthrown Beckham, the 26-year-old signal-caller said that wasn't the case. Rather, Mayfield explained that he and Beckham had made different reads on how one of the Vikings' defensive backs was defending the play, which ultimately resulted in the miscommunication.

"If you go back and look at the film, you see the safety playing over the top and that's what I'm looking at," Mayfield said. "And then he's seeing as soon as he breaks out, the safety attached back to [Anthony] Schwartz. So, it's just little things. And it's probably about a quarter of a second off from me being able to see the safety attach back onto Schwartz instead of playing over the top and giving him some air."

Just four games into the season, there's still plenty of time for Mayfield and Beckham to iron out their issues. That starts this Sunday against a 3-1 Los Angeles Chargers team whose offensive firepower could force Cleveland's quarterback and top wide receiver to keep pace.

"I would say it is more just about us going out there and doing our job on the road again trying to play a complete game," Mayfield said. "We keep talking about it -- or I do at least -- and going to have to do that against a team that is playing very well. They have a few wins in a row against some tough opponents so we need to be able to handle that on the road."

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