The thrilling back and forth between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs Sunday shows that the Cleveland Browns are far from their level.
The final 2 minutes saw the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs combine to score 24 points including three total touchdown passes from Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. This includes 194 yards of offense after Buffalo temporarily took a 29-26 lead, highlighted by a 64-yard Tyreek Hill touchdown, a 19-yard strike from Allen to Gabriel Davis, and a the Chiefs moving the ball 44 yards and scoring a field goal in just 13 seconds. Watching all of this unfold one thing is abundantly clear, the Cleveland Browns are nowhere near their level.
The difference between the Browns and these two teams is clearly obvious, the quarterback position. Allen and Mahomes are two of the best at their position and fall into the category known as elite. Meanwhile Cleveland has Baker Mayfield who is far from that distention. While observing the Bills and Chiefs trade touchdowns it was quite clear that if Cleveland was in that position they would have no shot at matching this level of offense. There has been the occasional moment in time that Mayfield has conjured up a quick scoring drive, but not often enough to believe he could do it more often than a few times a season much less multiple times in a row during the same game.
A lot of this does fall on the quarterback, however it is not all on Mayfield. The Browns receiving group leaves a lot to be desired. Considering there is a chance the team moves on from Jarvis Landry this offseason (a mistake if there ever was one), that leaves the receiving group in an even more dire situation. Donovan Peooples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz are the only non-Landry receivers under contract for next season at the moment. Peoples-Jones is very inconsistent and cannot be counted on to produce at a reliable rate at this moment in time. Schwartz has a lot of work to do to not be considered anything more than the fourth wide receiver on the roster currently. Both need to improve for either player to relied upon week in and week out next season.
Between Mayfield and their receivers they just do not have the firepower to keep up with teams like Buffalo and Kansas City. Better receiving targets are required to compete with these teams, but so is a better quarterback. Mayfield has been given plenty of quality receiving targets with not enough success coming from his end. The Browns have a lot of catching up to do in multiple areas of their offense, not just quarterback or receiver. Not making improvements across the board will result in settling as an also-ran while other teams continue to pull away from Cleveland.