Has The Fourth Estate Been Wrong About Baker Mayfield?

August 28th, 2023

Proving critics wrong?

If you can find media outside the Tampa Bay area who predicted the Bucs would be good with Baker Mayfield at quarterback, you have basically found a unicorn.

Universally, critics hammered the Bucs for signing Mayfield because they thought it was a low-key-tanking move to draft a quarterback in the first round next year. How could a team be serious about winning and rely on Mayfield? they asked.

After watching Mayfield carve up the Crows’ backups in one of two series on Saturday night, Frank Schwab of Yahoo! is beginning to wonder if #NFLMedia was too quick to bury the Bucs?

Whatever you think about NFL preseason football and how little it matters in terms of predicting what comes next, completing 93.3% of pass attempts against other players on an NFL field isn’t that bad. …

Maybe it will turn out well for Tampa Bay and Mayfield. Mayfield appeared in two preseason games and completed 14-of-15 passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns. That’s a 135.4 passer rating. …

Still, the Buccaneers have to be happy with what they saw. There are still good players on the roster like [Chris] Godwin and Mike Evans. whose fantasy football value won’t tank if Mayfield is adequate or better. The NFC South is probably the weakest division in the NFL. If Mayfield isn’t bad, maybe the Buccaneers can be in playoff contention this season. They’d take that in what was supposed to be a transition season after Brady.

Todd Bowles doesn’t want Mayfield to carry the offense. He wants a veteran game manager that can make some plays and limit mistakes. That might be what Mayfield is at this point in his career.

Joe is not swallwing the bait of preseason football. But the way the offense looked Saturday, Joe’s hope for an offense better than the 18 points per game the Bucs scored last year has been restored.

38 Responses to “Has The Fourth Estate Been Wrong About Baker Mayfield?”

  1. Eric Says:

    Yeah me neither not buying the hype I didn’t see a single pass this preseason travel 20 yards down the field not sure if that was by design or he chose to play it safe we will see!

  2. Bee Says:

    We’ll get a lot of answers in a few weeks. I want to see how this new starting O-line does for a full game.

  3. Breadwinnerbob Says:

    I mean that Godwin td was close to a 20 yard pass Eric

  4. Larrd Says:

    I have seen Baker critics claim he is Jameis Winston with the careless mistakes one day, then claim that he’s a dink and dunker who won’t throw downfield the next day. I am guessing he’s somewhere in between.

  5. Brandon Says:

    If he’s average, we will be better than last season, the roster on a whole and offensive concepts are better than last season. There’s no reason to think that if Mayfield is even above average we won’t win at least 10 games.

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    Has The Fourth Estate Been Wrong About Baker Mayfield?

    Probably. And for the same reason – they are dead wrong about the Bucs only winning 3,4 or 5 games.

  7. WyomingJoe Says:

    I followed Baker very closely during his years with Cleveland. This kid (yeah, he’s only 28) can rip it! He has an elite level arm. Isn’t that what the Jets said to Chris Simms about him a few weeks ago? Arians knew it too. That’s why the Browns drafted him #1 overall. Just take a look at one of his highlight videos on YouTube – HE CAN MAKE EVERY THROW. During the 2018 NFL Combine, he threw as fast as Mahomes did the previous year. Check what the Jugs Gun recorded. And both of those guys were second only to Josh Allen. I think that Mayfield is just trying to show everyone that he can stay calm and control a game without being reckless. I have to admit that I’m surprised he didn’t toss a few 60+ yarders during those preseason games. But it was all by design. I feel really good about where he’s at, and so should all Buc fans.

  8. Mark hardt Says:

    The negative opinions were not all about football. Humble writers hate his bravado. Ohio writers still hate him for planting the Sooner flag at the Horse shoe. Liberal writers connect him to Trump country and hate him for that. Writers from New York are convinced Baker tried to freeze out Odell Beckham from getting the ball and hate him for that. Ironically the Rams saved both their careers. Writers who think Watson was falsely accused by Women after his money hate Baker. Then there are the writers who just follow what everyone else is doing. Lastly statistics are misleading and a lazy way of analysis with out doing comprehensive research into soft skillls.

  9. pmarcello Says:

    Here is the storyline we are going to see this season and it will supercede the BS coming from talking heads of the so called 4th Estate which in recent years has come more to resemble a 5th column.Our promsing young hero [QB1] hit a very rough patch after very promising start. But here in Tampa he will get one Last Chance to make good and we will watch him make good on all hi early talent and lead his team on a spectacular run that that sets the NFL hierarchy on it’s ear and humiliates all the smug pundits and serve all the trolls multiple helping of crow.
    Hollywood has done this story to the point where it has entered into the classic American folklore. Yes, Baker is about to be our version of Mavrick. TOP GUN. Go Baker Go Bucs fulfill your destiny and make them all choke on their vicious vitriol!

  10. adam from ny Says:

    one can only hope to go 2-2 by the bye…

    tread water through the first 10 by going 5-5…

    then hopefully hit another gear as the schedule potentially gets a little more favorable…

    (but take into consideration how we all judge the schedule on the production of the past couple of years for most teams – a few teams on the schedule will not be “who we thought they were” – it happens every year)

  11. adam from ny Says:

    what if:

    baker throws for 3,500…28-30 tds and like 14-15 ints this season…

    we just might be pretty good…like a 10-7 type team…

    10 would be my max number on potential wins this year, and 10-7 just might win the division this year as well

  12. Josh Says:

    Browns fans/media were always stuck in victimhood about their QBs. He comes out and set the NFL Rookie TD record and gets 2nd place as NFL Offensive Rookie of year award, yet is still bad to the Browns fans and media. He played for some of the most dysfunctional NFL organizations ever. Last year, he looked pretty good on the Rams with hardly anytime on their team, playing with a lot of their backup WRs. Coaching and offensive play calling matters. Deshaun Watson look horrible on the Browns last year and the media was like it’s ‘rust’. But Baker had 2 days or playbook prep for the Rams and did amazing. He also carved up the Broncos defense on Christmas and that was after hearing how amazing the Broncos defense was by the media. This is the first time Baker could pick the team he wanted to play for, so I am excited, because he knows this Bucs teams has something special.

  13. eric Says:

    I mean that Godwin td was close to a 20 yard pass Eric

    11 Yards!

  14. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    We’ll find out soon enough – the dink and dunk description for the preseason has been accurate. It’s been against vanilla defenses however.

    Baker plays a few series and comes out.

    The outcomes have been good. Short efficient passing without drops or penalties moves the chains. There is little room for error however. How will Mayfield fare in 3rd and long? Questions will be answered.

  15. Joe Says:

    Ohio writers still hate him for planting the Sooner flag at the Horse shoe.


  16. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    I liked that they didn’t have a lot of dumb stupid penalties, if we’re going to do anything this year we’ll have to be relatively penalty and turnover free. If the Offense doesn’t spit the bed I feel the Defense will be top 7 and this division sucks so there’s a pathway to the playoffs…… but probably not.

  17. Bobby M. Says:

    If our line can stay healthy, I think we’ll surprise some folks.

  18. Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says:

    @Eric, Mayfield threw a 20 yard completion against the Steelers and a SECOND 23 yard pass that was called back for offensive holding of all things.

    Coaches have pulled Mayfield from the game TWICE after they’ve seen what they wanted to see out of him – and that was playing controlled, short passing offense. They want to see that Mayfield can do that…because if they want big play Mayfield, they have 5 years of game tape being one of the best long ball passers in the NFL (with analytics to back it up).

    With Trask, they want to see the opposite – can he actually throw the ball passed the scrimmage line in LIVE games without turning it over?

    Thus far, I’d be more concerned based upon most of Trask’s long, risky throws being great plays by WR that saved turnover worthy plays.

  19. Beej Says:

    At least as #2 Trask will get reps. Read that Lance requested a trade an hour after he was named #3 behind Darnold–as #3 he’d never get any reps, never get better

  20. Citrus County Says:

    My thoughts since the announcement of Mayfield’s signing; We’ve found OUR Drew Brees.

  21. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Highly doubt Canales wanted to show any more than he had to during preseason. The Seahawks seemed to some decent splash plays to WRs last year, i look for the same for ME and CG

  22. Capt2fish Says:

    I put a $20 futures bet on him winning come back player of the year at 75 to 1. Time to shake and bake!

  23. Dwayne Cone Says:

    As long as Baker does exactly what he is asked to do he will be fine.

    If the running game is there and he’s asked to go 6 of 6 for 43 yards and results are a TD I am sure he can do that.

    This last game I saw 2 of 2 for 3 yards. 4 of 4 for 40 to Godwin that looked they were playing pitch and catch against Nobody’s. Even the 11 yard Touchdown was against the rookie and 6th on their depth chart and not 7th because one of their Dogs is Injured. Won’t be as easy come 9/10. we will see then.

    Nothing against Baker. He looked Good out there. Some of the articles I see that claim he ‘Balled Out’ are stretching it though. He did what was asked of him.

    Once we get to Minnesota the only thing that concerns me is ‘Doing What is Asked of Him’ and the desire to prove he’s a 20 million a year QB are going to Clash.

  24. Bucswin Says:

    I’d say this is the best opportunity he has had since being drafted. Who’s had success in Carolina and Cleveland/Where careers go to die.

  25. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of UniqueModernArt.com Says:


    That sweet TD tip/catch by Big Platy Trey Palmer was 20+ yards.

    I think our offense will definitely score more points than last year

  26. SlyPirate Says:

    This is going to be a really fun and competitive team. Both the wins and losses are going to be close games.


  27. Dwayne Cone Says:

    Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says:

    (with analytics to back it up)

    Are those things Defensive Coordinators look at and then tell his squad that Baker has throw 3 TD’s be ready he’s going to throw a Pick? Based on a Career 1.59 TD/INT Ratio?

    Of Baker I have seen some beautiful long throws that hit receivers with little separation and I’ve seen some right to defensive backs on a 7 yard overthrow.

    Even a cannon aimed a little left, right, high, or, low ends up with Friendly Casualties. He’s better with a 38 caliber.

    He will do fine if they keep him limited in his options.

  28. Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says:

    @Dwayne Cone -Mayfield’s turnover worthy throw rate is league average. Why those have translated to more interceptions is an oddity. In other words, historically, Mayfield throws an average amount of risky throws, but for some reason they are more likely to become interceptions. Based on watching game tape, I have my theories based on game film, but will spare that here.

    Feel free to look up Mayfield’s numbers on deep ball accuracy.

    He doesn’t need to be kept “limited,” He’s elite, by metrics, with the deep ball. Like all QBs he needs to be placed inside a system that plays to their strengths and mitigates their shortcomings. Hopefully this offense suits him better than the offense the Panthers and McAdoo built for Sam Darnold.

  29. Rod Munch Says:

    After watching Mayfield carve up the Crows’ backups in one of two series on Saturday night, Frank Schwab of Yahoo! is beginning to wonder if #NFLMedia was too quick to bury the Bucs?


    LOL! What?

    Baker literally threw only one pass more than 3 yards in the air. On 3rd and six, with other options open, he threw a 3 yard pass.

    What exactly were people watching that they were impressed? I mean it’s great to throw a 1 yard pass to Godwin and have him break three tackles to get 9 yards, but that doesn’t make you a good or even decent QB.

  30. Since76 Says:

    I haven’t seen Baker enough to know if he’s good or not. He can throw short passes good so far. I hope he can get the ball down the field because in today’s NFL you have to score and you have to score often. We just can’t have him be a poor man’s Winston. I do not want to go through 4 or 5 years of too many turnovers. Those were bad years. The ability I could do without is his ability to turnover the ball. Fix that and he could be a keeper. Don’t fix it and Bowles will be looking for work.

  31. Buddha Says:

    Winston never had a season or a passing efficiency close to Baker’s 11-6 year. Baker still holds the NCAA record for passing efficiency. Heck his predraft projections, many of which highlight his passing accuracy and gunslinger mentality. Did Baker wake up one day and forget how to play quarterback? I don’t think so. The hatred for him is unreal.

  32. Daniel Dream Says:

    Amongst quite a few strengths, Baker had two major weaknesses in Cleveland: passes batted at the LOS, and going for the homerun sometimes when a single would do. Using rolls and boots alleviated the batted passes when the Briwns were using those plays. If he’s been ‘taking what the defense gives’ a bit more, that would probably be a good progression in his growth- I’m sure he’ll still be uncorking plenty of long balls all the same.

    If the Bucs WR core is anywhere as good as the preseason has indicated, this offense will be great- PROVIDED THAT the reworked offensive line can block somebody. Baker will give you a few good plays against pressure a game, but if the pressure is more constant than that, he’ll eventually get swallowed up. If that happens, you’ll be screwed, I assume- as it really wouldn’t help to go to the less mobile Trask- who’d probably get jumped before he has a chance to do show what he could do, even more so, if the blocking sucks. If the offensive line can put out some C+ blocking at least, this offense should be good. If not, Tom Brady himself might not be able to make it work- isn’t that basically what went down last season?

    I will confidently predict, IF the offense line is decent, this offense will score a lot of points, and one of the undrafted rookies will have a Pro Bowl type season, because that’s what you should expect from Mayfield if he has decent blocking. If not, idk very many QBs who could salvage it. I sincerely hope this new offense line is up to the task!

  33. Kidfloflo Says:

    If u watch Bakers NFL highlights on all teams he played for, he is definitely not a dink and dunker!! Kid had a nice arm and slings it down field!!….Also u can make a case for the AFC SOUTH to be the weakest divison in football with all the improvements our rivals made

  34. ScottyMack Says:

    Rod Munch wrote: “it’s great to throw a 1 yard pass to Godwin and have him break three tackles to get 9 yards, but that doesn’t make you a good or even decent QB.”

    I guess you haven’t heard Canales speak about his offensive philosophy which is to just get the ball in the hands of playmakers and let them make a play.

  35. LANshark Says:

    Fact: Baker has thrown the most interceptions of any QB in the league since 2018: 64

    Fact: Baker threw 35 Int’s in 2018 and 2019 (Average 17.5/season), and 29 in 2020, 2021, and 2022 (Average 9.67/season).

    Make of it what you will.

  36. MelvinJunior Says:

    LANshark… I don’t have them in front of me and am too lazy to look right now, but I bet that is not for 5-FULL Seasons, either. He was hurt and missed games due to injury (came off the bench and/or was pulled a few times too), etc. So, those numbers are a lot worse than you’re even representing, too!!!!

  37. garro Says:

    “Fourth Estate” ?
    Joe that term has lost all semblance of its original meaning. Twilight Zone would be way more accurate.

    Go Bucs!

  38. garro Says:

    Not buying into Mayfield or an improved PPG this season just yet.
    Different offense? Yes. Different outcome? Who the ^%$# knows.

    I am after all a Bucs fan and have been fooled many times by preseason illusions.

    Go Bucs!