Browns need to start playing Baker Mayfield over Tyrod Taylor

Cleveland Browns

The idea of starting Tyrod Taylor to give Baker Mayfield time to adjust to life in the NFL is great. In practice, it’s just too ugly to watch.

The Browns have an 0-1-1 record and Tyrod Taylor has started the third game by going one of seven for a grand total of two yards passing. It’s time for the Baker Mayfield era to begin in Cleveland.

In retrospect, Week 1 might have been the right time for Mayfield to get the nod. Taylor was brought in from Buffalo to serve as a bridge and mentor for the No. 1 overall pick. Hue Jackson and company thought he could provide them adequate play at the quarterback position while Mayfield learned from the sidelines.

Unfortunately, he hasn’t played well enough to be considered adequate. Taylor came into tonight’s game with a quarterback rating of just 70.1 on the season. He’s thrown for two touchdowns and two interceptions on the season. Most concerning is the fact that his completion percentage through two games was only 52.9%.

Those sorts of numbers should have severely weakened Taylor’s grip on the starting job coming into tonight’s game. His horrible start against the Jets should be enough to put the Browns’ prized rookie into action.

If the Browns have any hope of making a playoff run in 2018, they can’t afford to give any more games away. Continuing to trot Taylor out there series after series is going to put way too much pressure on the team’s talented, but relatively young defense. This offense needs a spark in the worst way.

The team’s decision this week to ship Josh Gordon out to New England only adds to the need to play Mayfield. A caretaker quarterback isn’t good enough to help this offense score points. The Browns need a playmaker at the position. Taylor, even at his best, is a game manager. Mayfield may struggle at times due to his inexperience, but he at least offers the hope of being a star at the game’s most important position.

Next: 5 bold predictions for the Browns in 2018

Jackson isn’t the most forward thinking coach in the NFL, but this decision should be simple enough for him to make. It’s time for Mayfield to trade the clipboard for the football. It needs to be Baker time in Northeast Ohio.

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