CLEVELAND — One should never mess with someone else’s quarterback, especially one as popular in the locker room as Cleveland Browns signal-caller Baker Mayfield.
Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller posted a photo of him sacking Mayfield when the Browns earned a 17-16 victory at Denver Broncos Stadium at Mile High last December, and new Cleveland wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was quick to defend his new quarterback.
“DON’T YOU EVER DISRESPECT MY QB,” Beckham Jr. posted, followed by three crying laughing emojis.
Mayfield seemed to take the post in stride, as he posted, “Anddddd, there’s sack 100…” in reference to Miller setting the Broncos’ franchise record with the sack.
Mayfield completed 18 of his 31 attempts for 188 yards and two touchdowns against one interception in the win over the Broncos, overcoming plenty of first-half struggles after a successful opening drive that ended with a scoring pass to wide receiver Breshad Perriman.
Mayfield completed two of his three passes for 50 yards on the opening drive, and 31 of those yards came on a deep throw down the right side of the field to Perriman. After securing the catch inside the Denver five-yard line, Perriman fought his way into the end zone for the touchdown.
Greg Joseph tacked on the extra point, which gave the Browns a 7-0 lead over the Broncos with 11:49 to play in the first quarter.
Facing a third-and-nine from the Denver 31-yard line, Mayfield muscled the throw down the field toward Perriman. The 6-foot-3 receiver outleapt veteran defensive back Tramaine Brock and high-pointed the ball just short of the goal line.
As Perriman fell to the turf, he secured the catch and maintained possession all the way through the play, which included a hard landing and five-yard roll through the end zone for the touchdown.
Later in the game, Mayfield connected on a two-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Antonio Callaway, and with the extra point, the Browns took a 17-13 lead over the Broncos with 11:44 to play in the fourth quarter.
Mayfield’s pass to Callaway gave the Browns 12 touchdowns in their last 12 trips inside the red zone.
On first-and-goal from the Denver two-yard line, Mayfield took the snap in the shotgun formation and looked to the left side of the field for an open receiver, where he found Callaway with inside position against a defensive back in a banged-up Broncos secondary.
With Callaway breaking open on the slant route, Mayfield threaded the needle and found him for the touchdown.
Earlier in the drive, the Browns faced a second-and-nine from the Denver 34-yard line, and after being flushed out of the pocket, Mayfield fired a throw down the left sideline for wide receiver Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins that moved the ball down to the 16.
Despite being close to the sideline, Higgins secured the catch and got both feet down in bounds for the first down.
After taking over the first-team offense in the second quarter of a Week 3 win over the New York Jets, Mayfield completed 310 of his 486 attempts (63.8 percent) for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns against 14 interceptions.
Under the direction of new Browns coach Freddie Kitchens, the interim offensive coordinator for the second half of the 2018 season, Mayfield completed 180 of his 263 attempts (68.4 percent) for 2,254 yards and 19 touchdowns against eight interceptions.