What you say here is spot on. Baker should not have played against the Lions and that decision falls squarely on the head coach. People have a really short memory on how dominant Mayfield was over the final 10 weeks last season. Off the charts good. But what he did did last season matters nothing to all the haters here.I find the overly simplistic dismissal of the effects of different injuries to be a lazy analysis from people who otherwise go to great lengths to find statistical justification to make the point that Mayfield simply sucks for no justifiable reason other than he just isn't good, period.
Injuries don't always have a consistent effect on performances. I think for the majority of the Cinci game Baker was feeling pretty good and it was reflected in his performance. He then injured his heel at some point during that game.
IMO the heel had a significant effect on his throwing accuracy against the Pats. The that game he also hurt his knee. which couldn't have helped matters.
All of that seems to have carried over to the Lions game. IMO Mayfield should have been benched much earlier in the Pats game, and they had no business playing him at all against the Lions. Some people want to blame Baker for the fact that he played that game when it should fall squarely on the Browns coaching and management.
If you make even the slightest attempt to put this sequence together it falls into place but apparently that isn't worth considering to people who already have their mind made up that everything is Baker's fault, Baker sucks, and there is no room for disagreement. And apparently this sucky version of Mayfield is all he'll ever be, he has no chance of ever improving over what we've seen this season. It's apparently a proven fact that is beyond refuting in the minds of certain people.
Paul Simon sang it in the song The Boxer...."a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest". That Mayfield was the third highest rated quarterback over a 10 week stretch last season doesn't matter. It's simply disregarded...because Mayfield haters will simply disregard such nonsense.
20 years of horrendous football ended with this guy. And now the call is for his head on a platter. Mayfield should demand a trade out of this ungrateful city.