Baker Mayfield must slow down
There were times during Baker Mayfield’s competitive debut when he looked like he was playing too fast. The quarterback is still familiarizing himself with the scheme after Matt Rhule insisted on a quarterback competition with Sam Darnold this offseason, which was always going to come with potential complications when push came to shove.
Slowing things down mentally would be a good place to start for Mayfield. His desire to win and competitive edge versus the team that cast him aside in Week 1 played a part, but the signal-caller must ensure this doesn’t become an ongoing trend during his potential road to redemption.
Ben McAdoo also has a part to play in this. The offensive coordinator was criticized for putting too much on Mayfield right out of the gate on Sunday, which negated Christian McCaffrey’s influence and put the Carolina Panthers in a hole they were unable to get out of.
The weapons are there for Carolina and Mayfield demonstrated late how he’s able to conjure things up when provided enough time. But processing things more effectively in the pocket is the only way the Heisman Trophy winner is going to make a better go of things in a different environment.
Next up is the New York Giants, who boast some outstanding playmakers across their front seven but remain a little suspect in the secondary. Something Mayfield can capitalize on if he takes everything in his stride and doesn’t force the issue.