The Cleveland Browns are winning games with Baker Mayfield and not beacause of him, they must navigate the path in front of them carefully.
There has been a common theme in the three wins for the Cleveland Browns this season. It has been the running game, not the passing game which has carried them to victory. Cleveland is currently winning games with Baker Mayfield and not because of him. The Browns need to need recognize the mistakes of other teams in similar situations and not repeat it.
Two teams come to mind which were in a very similar situation, the Chicago Bears and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Both teams had flawed quarterbacks (Mitchell Trubisky and Blake Bortles) and were winning with them and not because of them. Jacksonville could have drafted a replacement for Bortles when the team was still competitive and decided not to. Because of this the team is in a complete rebuild. Chicago is now in a transition period after benching Trubisky for Nick Foles. The Browns need to see where they are at with Baker Mayfield and realize they need to be extremely careful in how they move forward.
Yes, the Browns brought in Case Keenum to back up Baker Mayfield if he falters, this is the Nick Foles of this situation. A capable backup who can step in for a team but is not a long term solution. The Bears will have to draft another quarterback at some point, something the Browns may have to consider relatively soon.
Box scores and scoreboards can lie
Simply looking at the box score and scoreboard when it comes to Baker Mayfield can be deceiving. Mayfield has completed 62.6% of his passes for 729 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. The completion percentage has increased while his interception percentage has dropped. It is also worth mentioning that he is averaging more than 50 yards less per game this season though 4 games.
When watching Baker Mayfield he does not appear to be comfortable at all. Throws are inaccurate in one way or another and he still gets happy feet in the pocket. This was an issue that popped up occasionally while he was at Oklahoma but was dismissed by those too busy fanboying over him. The reality is he panics under pressure and makes bad decisions. Mayfield cannot read a defense and his processing is not up to the speed required of an NFL quarterback. The game is simply too fast for him and that is before mentioning that his short stature is an issue with batted balls.
The reality is that Baker Mayfield is too inconsistent and succumbs to pressure too easily. Anything other than a basic defense confuses him which leads to tipped passes and interceptions. The Browns need to realize this and prepare themselves for the time that they need to address the quarterback position. The Bears and Jaguars are examples of what happens when a team decides to stick with a flawed quarterback instead of finding his replacement and Cleveland should use those situations as cautionary tales.