The Cleveland Browns lost to the Tennessee Titans in a game where they saw the wheels fall off in the fourth quarter. After a game of mistakes and penalties, the Browns completely fell apart in the final quarter after fighting neck and neck with the Titans for most of the game. The defense allowed a lot of easy and quick drives, while the offense struggled with the turnovers. The struggles on offense included quarterback Baker Mayfield. After a really solid game, Mayfield faltered in the fourth quarter, completing just 3 of 9 passes for 21 yards and three interceptions.
In this week’s film room, we will take a look at the six incompletions that Mayfield threw in the fourth quarter, including the three interceptions that pretty much sealed the loss for the Browns. Let’s take a look at what went wrong for Mayfield in this tough quarter of play.
Q4 14:21 2nd-and-14: Mayfield is intercepted by Byard
This first interception is probably on Mayfield here. The route to watch here is the deep-in route that receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is running on the right side of the field. He is going up against a defense in zone coverage that is disguised pre-play. The safety on the right side of the field drops down and covers the inside underneath area of the field after the ball is snapped. Mayfield may have missed this because he is trying to keep his eyes on the left side of the field to hide his intentions and draw the defense left. When he flips back to the right, he thinks Beckham will run a curl route. But, Beckham sees the safety underneath and runs further inside to the open zone between the coverage. Mayfield throws behind Beckham and in the path of the underneath safety, who picks it off.
Q4 11:23 3rd-and-4: Mayfield is intercepted by Ryan
This is on Mayfield. He pre-determined his decision, knowing he only needed four yards he went with the short out route by receiver Jarvis Landry. The route is never open with the corner playing right on the front hip of Landry throughout the route. He should have moved onto a second read rather than throw this pass.
Q4 8:58 1st-and-10: Mayfield incomplete to Chubb
This incompletion has nothing to do with Mayfield. Mayfield reads the defense early on and sees the defense settling back and giving the underneath area. So, he quickly knows that he will target running back Nick Chubb on a dump-off pass. But, two things happen. First, left tackle Justin McCray is quickly beat off the edge, allowing the rusher to hit Mayfield while the quarterback is throwing. This causes the pass to be off-target just a little. The second part of this is Chubb. Chubb still had a chance to catch the pass. Though it was off target a little and right when he turned around on the route, the pass was catchable. Mayfield got no help here.
Q4 8:53 2nd-and-10: Mayfield incomplete to Beckham
For this play, Mayfield is probably at fault here. The Browns are running a route combination where tight end David Njoku, who is lined up on the right end of the line, is running a crossing route to the left, while Beckham is running a corner route from his spot on the right side of the field. This combination poses a tough decision for the safety who has the over-the-top responsibilities with his two underneath defenders. The Browns have two players threatening that area. But, Mayfield is late and inaccurate on the pass. He makes a smart decision on targeting Beckham, but he throws it too late. He throws the ball after Beckham makes his break to the sideline. The pass is thrown to Beckham, leading him out of bounds. It was not the right timing and placement for that pass.
Q4 5:41 4th-and-13: Mayfield incomplete to Beckham
This is a simple inaccurate pass on the stick route by Beckham here. The pass is behind Beckham when the receiver was open and could have gotten a first down on the play.
Q4 3:11 1st-and-10: Mayfield is intercepted by Butler
This play looks like a miscommunication between Mayfield and Landry. Landry runs a quick in route, while Mayfield looks to be expecting Landry to sit down at the top of the route. Mayfield throws the pass where he thought Landry would sit down at, ending up throwing the pass behind Landry, who is on his way inside. The pass is subsequently picked off and taken into the endzone for a touchdown.
Quick Ending Thoughts