CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was a man of many looks before, during and after last Sunday’s 24-19 loss to the Denver Broncos at Empower Field in Denver, and since then, his facial hair has become a hot topic of discussion on social media.
Mayfield arrived at the stadium with a full beard, and by kickoff, he tightened up to a handlebar mustache look. However, in his postgame press conference, Mayfield had a much more muted look, which he explained following Wednesday’s practice.
“The quarterbacks had a Mo-vember mustache, and the original thought for me, ‘do handlebars,’” Mayfield said. “I was undefeated before Sunday with the handlebar mustache, so I shaved it off because I didn’t deserve it.”
Although the Browns cleaned up some of the mistakes that had been haunting them through the first seven games of the season, namely penalties and turnovers, they were unable to make plays in the red zone, getting just one touchdown in five trips inside Denver’s 20-yard line, and those missed opportunities added up to the five-point loss.
Mayfield completed 27 of his 42 attempts for 273 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions or fumbles and was sacked just twice for 12 lost yards on the way to a 90.7 quarterback rating, his highest since the Browns posted a 40-25 road victory over the Baltimore Ravens on September 29.
Additionally, Mayfield rushed for 22 yards on three scrambles, including a 16-yard run on third-and-14 in the second quarter that extended a drive which rookie Austin Seibert ended with a 30-yard field goal to make it a one-score game, 14-6, with 7:14 to play in the first half.
“I’ll hold that opinion to myself,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said of Mayfield’s many looks.
“I think they have the shave for November thing. I’m not really sure. I didn’t know he shaved the day of the game. I don’t really know. I don’t look at faces that much as far as facial hair. I don’t know how to answer that.”
Regardless of the styles Mayfield utilized Sunday, the 2019 season has been a struggle for the second-year signal-caller out of Oklahoma.
Through eight games this season, Mayfield has completed 159 of his 271 attempts for 1,963 yards and seven touchdowns against a league-high 12 interceptions. Mayfield threw 14 interceptions through 14 games last year.
Additionally, Mayfield has rushed for 75 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries.
“Stay the course,” Mayfield said. “I think no matter what’s going on, we’ve made strides in certain areas that we needed to, but now, we just have to make the plays when they’re there. We have to execute when it’s in the red zone.
“We have to do those obvious things that we lost because of, but to continue to stay the course and improve each week because we know that right now, with eight games left in the season, we have to have a single-week focus coming into it and do our job.”