The Good And Bad About Baker Mayfield Starting On Opening Day

August 13th, 2023

Bucs No. 1 quarterback Baker Mayfield is exactly four Sundays away — four! — from taking the field in Minnesota against the Vikings’ new Brian Flores-led defense.

Joe is fired up!

The good news is that back in 2019, Mayfield got a taste of Flores’ attack-dog defense when Mayfield’s Browns faced the Dolphins. It was one of the best games of his career.

Mayfield finished 24-of-34 for 327 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. And he only ate one sack.

The bad news is Mayfield has a miserable record in opening day games. And that’s Joe being nice. In fact, Mayfield is 0-4 as a Week 1 starter with a total of 3 touchdown passes and 6 interceptions.

And the sour cherry on top is eating 13 sacks while coughing up 4 fumbles in those games. Ouch!

Joe hopes Todd Bowles and company began a deep dive into Mayfield’s opening day struggles months ago. That would have been the wise move. Perhaps they did and Mayfield already has appointments lined up with the same psychologist that counseled Tristan Wirfs on his relocation to left tackle.

Jeo doesn’t believe in NFL coincidences. That Mayfield record  in Week 1 needs to be explored — while Flores tries to figure out why Mayfield carved him up four years ago.

44 Responses to “The Good And Bad About Baker Mayfield Starting On Opening Day”

  1. Dave Pear Says:

    Given Todd Bowles’ apparent decision to sit his starters in preseason and not get any live game full speed experience, literally anything can happen. With Baker’s opening day record, lots of bad could be expected.

    Football is about blocking and tackling. Bucs seem to be in severe decline on those two fronts, as were the Jets when Todd coached them. I mean the man had Tom Brady last year and secured a losing record. It appears that Bowles is a guy everyone loves – and he is a serial loser.

  2. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Last year opening day, Panthers had a 1 point lead with a little over a minute to go and Panthers D couldn’t stop Browns from kicking a 58 yd fg to win it at the end.
    Mayfield was sacked 4 times and McCaffrey had nowhere to run.
    Let’s keep things in perspective.

  3. Give it a Rest, Trask Bridge Says:

    The Browns had the bad opening game record that Mayfield coulndn’t overcome.

    Mayfield led a comeback win with Carolina but the defense blew the lead last year.

    But yeah splitting reps for either starter will help this team win /s

  4. Bucsfan13 Says:

    He also had a good OL that could handle the pressure

  5. John Sinclear Says:

    So – the “competition” is declared over, and Mayfield wins? Nothing left for Trask but to pack his U-haul and say bye-bye?

  6. Beej Says:

    At worst, Trask moves from practice squad guy to clipboard guy and gets a ton more involvement during the season

  7. Infomeplease Says:

    You’re only as good as you play. If this team would drastically reduce the penalties and drastically improve their tackling there should be no reason for them to lose on opening day!! Of course the coaches need to emphasize these fundamentals way more than they currently are!!! Will this happen?

  8. Give it a Rest, Trask Bridge Says:

    I never get tired of having to tell casusal the Browns Oline was good and healthy for one stretch of 2020 until Conlin went down in 2021 — 2020 was the Covid season, when they had no offseason, so how do you expect a QB to play with a new coach and a new system, in the first game, with no off-season?

    I don’t care who the Bucs are throwing out there in the first game, they’re gonna have a rough go of it with a rebuilt Oline, rookie OC with a new offense and Brian Flores blitzing like it’s going out of style.

    As I’ve said numerous times, Trask fans should be praying that he is kept off the field until midseason and the line gels.

    Mayfield has played with suspect lines in 3.5-4 out of 5 years of his careers, so of the two to survive the early season, it’s him–not a pocket passer.

  9. Give it a Rest, Trask Bridge Says:

    Mayfield fans should be wanting the opposite – start Trask through the oline’s learning curve and then come in and be the season hero.

    No fan of a QB should WANT their QBto start this season with all these variables. It’s gonna take a heroic effort by a quarterback to look good with all this newness.

  10. K_bassuka Says:

    The only thing that Baker does well is putting his receivers in harm’s way. He showcased his skills during the 1st preseason game and I hope he is benched before he gets Evan’s and/or Godwin hurt. But then again what else is to expect from the only team in the NFL this year that Hope’s to turn a bust of a QB into a serviceable one.

    This is going to be a fun season 🙄

  11. D Cone Says:

    Great on the Quiz but flunks Exams. Difference between not trying to lose the job in preseason and having to Win a game in the real world.

    Baker is in self Preservation mode and will play to insure he has a job next season.

    As far as Flores. He had to load the box against the run. Baker was the benefactor of that scheme. With Bucs he won’t have that need.

  12. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Educate me-Where , when and by who was Mayfield anointed the #1???

  13. Buddha Says:

    Bowles is a better defensive coach than Flores and his defense is better at sacking th QB. Their QB is a statue and they have no running game. Buccaneers have better personnel on defensive line. Game will be decided in 4th quarter.

  14. WyomingJoe Says:

    JOES… Maybe I missed it, but has Ira Kaufman ever responded about articles saying that, in essence, his information was dead wrong and the Bucs have NOT made a decision on Mayfield as the starter in week 1? All the articles mention “internal sources” within the Buc’s organization. I think that Baker will win it outright anyway, but I am curious. Go Bucs.

  15. Duane Says:

    The competition won’t be over until after preaseason game 2. Baker Mayfield did looked a little better than Trask on Friday. He did a lot of scrambling around, which is his forte, to try and make up for a poorly performing offensive line. The penalties on both offense and defense were the biggest killer for both quarterbacks, though Trask was more affected by the poor pass blocking. He barely got ahold of the ball from the snap and he was already surrounded on three sides by pass rushers.

    These are of course rookie performance issues, and the Bucs have proportionally more rookies than the Steelers and it showed. Once we get to starters playing we’ll have a much better idea of where we’re at in prep for Week 1, regardless of the starter at quarterback.

    What is most concerning is the play of Goedeke and Mauch on Friday, both of whom are penciled in as starters in Week 1. They have a lot of improving to do or our offensive line will continue to suck as it did last year, particularly if Ryan Jensen is not ready to go at 100%, which appears to be doubtful based upon what the Bucs are saying (though they could be trying to lull the Vikings into over confidence).

    The defense also looked poor, with rotten tackling and penalties extending most of Pittsburgh’s drives on Friday.

    There were a few positives, however. Trey Palmer looks like a keeper and potentially could even challenge Russell Gage for the no. 3 WR spot if Gage doesn’t step up. The interception by Zyon McCollum looked impressive

  16. Give it a Rest, Trask Bridge Says:

    @Wyoming Joe —

    Ira commented on twitter responding to Rick Stroud “Hardly a guess.”

    All Ira ever said was that several people told him that Mayfield was ahead and was going to be the starter, but even Ira noted in his podcast Trask could still upset, but it was a steep uphill now.

    And that was before Trask’s poor play on Friday.

  17. Mark hardt Says:

    Three sacks taken and the interception should be huge red flags for Trask. The tall QB era is over when short QB,s such as the Cardinals Murray can thrive. Mayfield made smart decisions, used his speed to get out of trouble, threw on the run, and used his time well when he had it. Keep in mind Baker took over a 1-31 dysfunctional (and still is) Browns team. He did not play in all the games but still set a rookie record for TD.s that Herbert broke. His fault is he is too tough. He should have had surgery right away in 2021. When healthy he can ball. He has learned from his past mistakes.

  18. Mike S Says:

    Baker Mayfield is garbage.

    Sugar plum dreams of 300 yard passing games is delusion.

  19. Richard Says:

    I don’t think Trask played all that poor, he was 6 of 10 with no protection and two drops. The interception was a great play by the safety.

  20. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Should the Oline continue to grossly under perform , QB will be completely irrelevant.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    Duane … ‘What is most concerning is the play of Goedeke and Mauch on Friday, both of whom are penciled in as starters in Week 1.’

    Neither played great for sure, but I’m actually more concerned about Hainsey’s play IF he ends up being our starting center. The difference in talent, experience & leadership between Jensen & Hainsey is very obvious. Keep your eyes glued on Hainsey when we play the Jets next weekend & I’ll bet you’ll see what I mean. Of all 5 projected starters, I view him as the weak link, and it’s not good having the weak link smack dab in the center of the chain.

  22. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    QB1 trask ain’t it

  23. m milligan Says:

    Stupid, irrelevant article and stat. I look for Buc’s to come out hot and win the division by 2 games.

  24. Tim R. Says:

    How can the coach determine who’s the starting quarterback if they are playing with the starting players. Trask is the best quarterback in practice. That’s the best judgement as of now. When the coach decides to play the starting players then Trask will show up and play well.

  25. Toad Bowels Says:

    Which is more exciting to watch?

    1. The Bucs offensive line penalty fest starring Mauch and Goedecke

    2. A Matlock rerun without Andy Griffith

    3. Golf on TV but the picture got stuck.

  26. JD Still Says:

    Ah , you didn’t post my comment , I must have hit upon the truth! No worries , it will become obvious to fans soon enough!

  27. Craig Says:

    Still two more preseason games, so it is still somewhat of a floating lead balloon.

    Trask does need to get his long ball under control, but he isn’t that far behind Duh Baker.

  28. Proudbucsfan Says:

    I hate to say it about our beloved Bucs but we are in for a rough season. Kyle Trask might end up being the better long term quarterback for our team, but for the start of this season, Baker Mayfield is the best bet and then it still doesn’t matter. We’re going to lose a considerable amount of games this season. The Oline is terrible and it doesn’t matter who is under center

  29. JohnJ Says:

    Baker will prove ALL of you wrong this season. Watch. I said he’d be a Buc 3 years ago when Tom Whomever took him under his shoulder. 👋 Hey! Watch Bake ball out with a underachieving team. #brownsfaniamsince’84

  30. Rod Munch Says:

    I wonder if Vegas lowers the Bucs win total. I can’t believe there’s that many people taking the over, they have to be putting big money on the under.

    Speaking of which, at the betting site I use, on the alternative win total line, you get much better odds on the Bucs winning LESS than 4.5 games vs winning MORE than 8.5 games. That tells you something.

  31. Oneilbuc Says:

    Jamies is having a better day than Baker Mayfield had Friday night!! Jamies is a better quarterback than Baker Mayfield . Even when the browns made the playoffs Baker Mayfield had 2 good runningbacks and a good defense something Jamies never had!!

  32. BoricuaBucfan Says:


    You obviously don’t read JoeBucsfan articles or listen to the podcasts, cause the King of NewPort Richey has already reported on this.

  33. Kelby Says:

    K_bassuka, that is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read, how does he get his WRs hurt? You do know the coaches chooe the plays and those plays have main targets right? And that’s Baker fault aswell? You’d find a way to blame him for defensive players getting hurt.

  34. Since76 Says:

    Mayfield was annointed starter when he signed the low contract. They just didn’t release it for PR. I hope Mayfield does well but he is like a lesser version of Winston to me. Hope I’m wrong.

  35. K_bassuka Says:

    @Kelby do even watch football? Time and time again you will see Maybefield lead his receivers(with his throw) into an area where the defender will deliver a big hit to the receiver. Has happened his whole career and it did too in the 1st preseason game.

    Maybe it is because he is smaller that he can’t see the field and doesn’t know where the defenders are 😒 maybe that’s the reason for the picks as well, nevertheless Maybefield is very good if not the best at those two things.

  36. C.j. Massie Says:

    I guess nobody else wants to say it out loud, Wolford looked better than Trask.

  37. ATLBuc Says:

    When I read from Ira that Mayfield would be the day 1 starter, I started trying to find some positive aspects about his game. He’s quick and has a nice long ball. But then he gets into the game and dinks and dunks when there were uncovered receivers downfield.
    Other than passing for like 63 yards Baker didn’t play bad. But I do think that Trask played better. He stood tall in the pocket, when he could, and pushed the ball down the field. But the thing where Trask had the decided advantage was in YAC of the padded he completed. He hit the receivers perfectly in stride whereas receivers has to adjust to Mayfield’s throws.

  38. ATLBuc Says:

    BUT!!! That was a nice TD throw from Baker

  39. Oneilbuc Says:

    Baker Mayfield is the starter I don’t care what happens anymore in the preseason. Trask got hoes again because of the politic of the game for some reason the media and some of the people refuse to accept that Baker Mayfield didn’t translate to the NFL. But we are stuck with him I just find it funny that Jameis is labeled a bust for being on his second team but Baker Mayfield is still a good quarterback and this his 4th team. But at the same time I hope he plays well because I’m a bucs fan. But I believe they are tanking I’m giving it 4 games and if we end up being 1-3 I’m done watching for the rest of the season. The bucs has destroyed another quarterback who they drafted and the fans on here has been blinded by the national meadi and the local media.

  40. garro Says:

    The optimist in me says that just makes him due for a breakout opener Joe.

    Alas I am a hardened Bucs fan and know from experience that is not gonna happen.

    Go Bucs!

  41. Baker Mayfield left nut Says:


  42. Stu lynch Says:

    some of u responders say some of the dumbest garbage I ever read it’s amazing that u can actually read & write good thing u r phone corrects all u r errors cause we all know u r true elementary commentary would be spelled like u write stupid stuff.u must be democrats really! GO BAKER & TRUMP

  43. Baker or bustemup Says:

    some of u responders say some of the dumbest garbage I ever read it’s amazing that u can actually read & write good thing u r phone corrects all u r errors cause we all know u r true elementary commentary would be spelled like u write stupid stuff.u must be democrats really! GO BAKER & TRUMP

  44. Baker bustemup Says:

    some of u responders say some of the dumbest garbage I ever read it’s amazing that u can actually read & write good thing u r phone corrects all u r errors cause we all know u r true elementary commentary would be spelled like u write stupid stuff.u must be democrats really! GO BAKER & TRUMP