Baker Mayfield threw an interception and was in the wrong place at the wrong time
Mayfield’s pick was his worst decision of the night to that point, as he’d had a solid bounce-back game after a brutal Week 1 performance against the Baltimore Ravens. William Jackson cut across the middle to latch on to Mayfield’s attempted pass to Austin Hooper, the Browns high-priced tight end.
While Mayfield’s got a war chest of weapons at his disposal, he’s still learning how to use them, and that was reflected in the forced throw to Hooper despite the fact the Bengals cornerback had safety help over the top.
Mayfield got leveled after the play, which is about the only time it’s legal to hit the QB
Michael Johnson took advantage of his one chance to hit Mayfield as hard as possible, and put the former Heisman Trophy winner on his back. It wasn’t necessary, as Baker wasn’t going to make a play on the ball, but given the scoreline the Bengals defense needed to take out their frustration some way.
Cincinnati is in for a long year despite the emergence of Joe Burrow. The LSU product is a shining light of hope in Ohio, but the Bengals are at least a year behind their neighbors in terms of developing a winner. Now, whether the Browns actually take that next step is another question entirely.