A Closer Look At What Mayfield Brings To The Buccaneers


With Baker Mayfield now in the mix to replace Tom Brady and move to a new era there are a lot of questions as to what this team will look like. If past performance is any indicator of what to expect here’s a quick synopsis on what Baker Brings to this team.

The Past

Mayfield is not a prolific passer. So far in his career he’s managed a best of 3,827 yards (2019), a completion percentage of 63.8% (2018), and a best of 7.7 yards per play (2018). Now his numbers across his career, not including last years strange turn of events and the 2021 injury season, have been relatively consistent. In his first three years PFF had him rated at 79.9, 72.8, and 81.6 in passing. Again consistency in his first three years in Cleveland were exciting to watch. He gave that fan base hope and the potential. For the first three years he had 26, 22,and 27 touchdowns to 8, 21, and 14 interceptions.  Then things fell apart.


Now, there was a big drop off in the 2021 season. It should be noted though that Mayfield was playing with a partially torn labrum he suffered in week two of the season. He would later reaggravate the same injury in week six. Throughout the season this and a week ten right knee contusion continued to plague him. Add in the loss of Odell Beckham Jr prior to the season, and Jarvis Landry injury in week two and the season was doomed. Now this isn’t to make excuses for poor performance but it is a lot to overcome for ANY quarterback to keep a team competitive. Afterall Mayfield was left to pass to the likes of Ryan Switzer, Ja’Marcus Bradley, Rashard Higgins, and Donovan Peoples-Jones. Not a stellar cast by any means.

The 2022 season was an example of gross misconduct when it comes to coaching and schemes. Bounced in and out of the Panthers starting role, Mayfield was hindered in ever regard to get the team on track. Matt Rhule proved his ineptitude and inability to get a team moving in the right direction. After going 1-4 he was fired. Once he was removed and Steve Wilks became the head coach things changed. Trading Christian McCaffery forced the team to find a balance on offense. Something Baker was not afforded while there. Subsequently the team moved on from him.

Ultimately Mayfield found himself with the Rams after being released and forced onto the field before even being able to digest the playbook. Adding insult to injury the Rams would lose Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson in week 10. That left Mayfield with no real number one or two receiver. Again, hard situation for any quarterback to succeed in.

Concerning Factor

Though the last two seasons have been concerning I like to look at the first three seasons in order to find issues that may be a cause for concern. The biggest glaring issue that comes up during this time is Mayfield’s play under pressure. At no point in time has Mayfield ever scored higher than a 33 on PFF season grades for passing while under pressure. There are questions that surround these marks. Did the scheme allow for underneath and quick out options? Were there players able to execute, how quick did the pressure get to Mayfield, and many others. From looking at the Browns through the last five years and the Panthers/Rams 2022 season each team was marred with poor schemes and loss of key players. Even Odell Beckham Jr alluded to issues with the offensive scheme before his departure from Cleveland.

The 2018 Browns offensive line was good in the second half the year. After that season they fell int to the bottom half of 2019, only to rebound ot a top team in 2020. 2021 was up and down but not bad and 2022 the Panthers middle of the road and the Rams were in the bottom half the league. You can see this in Mayfield’s sack numbers.  2018 he saw 25 then 40 in 2019, 26 in 2020, 43 in 2021, and 36 in 12 games in 2022.

This issue comes to the forefront of the 2023 season with the Buccaneers. They need to solidify the offensive line unit in order to ensure the pressure is not there and the sacks don’t start to pile up. When sacked less than 26 times in a season Mayfield has had a rating of 93.7 or higher.

Final Thought

Mayfield looks to be a good bridge and keep the Buccaneers competitive in the NFC South if, and only if, the offensive line can hold up. Under pressure Mayfield is a risk and can sink the ship. The good news however, is that Geno Smith looked much the same way under pressure. He was a roller-coaster during previous seasons. Sometimes falling below Mayfield’s marks in passing when under pressure. But with Dave Canales, now the Buccaneers offensive coordinator, Smith say a sizeable increase across the board in pressure situations. He posted more touchdowns than interceptions and had a completion percentage close to 58%. If Canales works his magic with Mayfield the Buccaneers won’t be in apposition to draft Caleb Williams without trading up.

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