6 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 5

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Baker Mayfield’s struggles with batted passes

I want to know if there’s an actual football reason for how Baker Mayfield gets so many passes batted down. He’s not super short, it didn’t happen in Cleveland. Why is it happening so often here? – Brad Amos

This is a great question to address, Brad. Thank you!

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’m supportive of Baker Mayfield. Statistically, though, he has not been good.

However, the film tells a different story. One that shows him to be middle of the pack and not below average like most fans and some of the media have come to conclude through four games.

First and foremost, Mayfield’s struggles with batted passes are not because of a height issue. I am certain of that. He can see over the offensive line just fine.

While the offensive line has been stout, for the most part, they’ve struggled to keep defenders’ arms down due to missed strikes and punches at the point of attack in pass protection when it comes to quick passing concepts. These are easy fixes. I’m not concerned with this aspect.

There have been some passes where the former No. 1 overall pick is locked on to his main read from pre-snap to post-snap. This has given defensive linemen keys to where he’ll be throwing the ball, which in turn leads to them getting their arms up in Mayfield’s passing lane.

Again, these issues seem to be fixable. The former Cleveland Brown has always had issues with batted passes, but not to this extent. Hopefully, it gets corrected quickly, or at least throughout the next couple of weeks.

As for Mayfield’s overall play, I have some concerns, mainly from his lower-half mechanics. His decision-making has been sound and his interception from Week 1 seems like the lone bad giveaway in 2022.

Continuity and chemistry are still a work in progress with No. 6. However, once that is hashed out, this offense will get better, even if it may not cater to the abilities of the talent at the skill positions.