Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has become the favorite to win the league’s offensive rookie of the year award, but with better coaching and a full season as a starter, Mayfield might be the Most Valuable Player, not just the rookie of the year.
Mayfield spent the entire offseason and the first three weeks of the regular season working with the Browns’ backups, as head coach Hue Jackson insisted Tyrod Taylor would start the season. And he spent half the season working in an offense designed by Jackson and Todd Haley. So it’s unsurprising that Mayfield got off to a somewhat slow start when he finally became the Browns’ starter in Week Four.
But with some time to develop and a better offense called by new coordinator Freddie Kitchens, Mayfield has been outstanding. In fact, as the Browns have won five of the last six games, Mayfield has played at an MVP level. Here’s a simple comparison between Mayfield and the MVP favorite:
Mayfield last six games: 115.2 passer rating, .833 winning percentage.
Patrick Mahomes full season: 114.0 passer rating, .733 winning percentage.
Mayfield has no shot at the MVP this year. But if he plays this way next year, and if he finally takes the Browns to the playoffs, he may just be the league MVP next year.