May­field has un­fa­mil­iar chal­lenge: over­com­ing losses

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - By Nate Ul­rich

Baker May­field had a 62-10 record as a high school and col­lege quar­ter­back. His record in his first sea­son with the Browns: 1-5. progress on of­fense, al­beit against one of the NFL's worst de­fenses. The Browns' de­fense, how­ever, sim­ply couldn't stop the Kansas City Chiefs from dom­i­nat­ing in a 37-21 loss, their first game since the fir­ings of coach Hue Jack­son and of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Todd Ha­ley on Oct. 29.

A big­ger step from May­field and com­pany is needed if the Browns hope to up­set the Fal­cons, who, like the Chiefs, have a high­pow­ered of­fense (ranked eighth in the NFL at 28.5 points per game) but a weak de­fense (29th, 28.2).

The hope May­field pro­vides has given his team­mates a dif­fer­ent feel­ing than they had the past two sea­sons when they went 1-31 un­der Jack­son.

"It's not ev­ery­thing, but it's ev­ery­thing," left guard Joel Bi­to­nio said. "You've got to have a quar­ter­back to win in the NFL, and it hasn't been per­fect, but to have him out there with you, there's al­ways that hope that, 'Hey, we have a chance to win this game.'

"To see the work he's put in, the tal­ent that he has and the pieces we can add around him and keep im­prov­ing with, there are no lim­its on what we can be in the fu­ture."

Fal­cons coach Dan Quinn said dur­ing a con­fer­ence call that he has been im­pressed by "the tough­ness, the ac­cu­racy and the quick re­lease" May­field has shown. Those at­tributes can't be seen just by glanc­ing at his lack­lus­ter sta­tis­tics: 60 per­cent com­ple­tion per­cent­age, 1,768 yards pass­ing, 10 touch­down passes, seven in­ter­cep­tions and a rat­ing of 81.5. Then there is his record — 1-5 as an NFL starter af­ter he went 62-10 in high school and col­lege.

"He hasn't lost a lot in his life­time," Bi­to­nio said. "I know it has been tough for him. I know he doesn't take los­ing easy, like any of us, but as a quar­ter­back of the team, those losses go on your record.

"He has done a great job of turn­ing the page and be­ing fo­cused on the week at hand. That's some­thing that you have to do in the NFL."

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