Baker Mayfield struggled last season. In 16 games, he threw for more interceptions and fewer touchdowns than he did as a rookie. Mayfield was inefficient, ineffective, and sloppy.
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Yet, Mayfield has as good a shot as any to win 2020’s NFL MVP. Although this is purely speculation, let me outline my thinking.
If the Browns go on a run in 2020, make the playoffs and upset a few big teams along the way, Baker Mayfield would have to be at the center of Cleveland’s success.
The key to Mayfield winning MVP though relies all on his weapons. Mayfield has proven he’s a solid quarterback at times in his career. During his rookie season, he flashed at times, but for Mayfield to win MVP, he’s going to need to flash for an entire season.
But, with some of the NFL’s best weapons in Cleveland, Mayfield has options to work with. In the passing game, Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, and free agent acquisition Austin Hooper are all capable of 1,000 yard seasons when healthy. In Cleveland’s backfield, Baker has Nick Chubb who put up nearly 1,500 rushing yards a season ago, as well as Kareem Hunt who’s a terrific pass catcher out of the backfield.
Plus, with two new offensive tackles in Cleveland, Mayfield’s going to have some time in the pocket to work with. Jack Conklin was one of the best offensive lineman available in free agency, and Jedrick Wills Jr. was one of the best tackles in the NFL draft. With a terrific offense around him, Baker Mayfield has no excuses going into 2020.
If Mayfield is able to put up more touchdowns and less interceptions this season en route to a playoff berth, (in the 7 team playoff) then watch out for his MVP hopes. He’d probably have to throw somewhere in the ballpark of 35 touchdowns and 10 interceptions to get the job done, which could put him in the running of the NFL’s comeback player of the year award if he falls short of MVP consideration.
Although Mayfield is definitely a dark horse player to win MVP in 2020, I like him for the same reason I like Dak Prescott or Josh Allen; the weapons around him. Although quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, and Lamar Jackson have a much better shot at winning the NFL’s MVP award, watch out for Baker Mayfield to be a dark horse MVP candidate in 2020.