SportsPulse: The primary NFL Sunday of 2020 used to be in contrast to any we had ever noticed ahead of. Whilst stadiums lacked enthusiasts there definitely wasn’t any loss of drama. Mackenzie Salmon overreacts to all of the largest storylines from Week 1.


Cleveland Browns trainer Kevin Stefanski wouldn’t say if he advised quarterback Baker Mayfield to get the ball to Odell Beckham Jr. at halftime Sunday at Baltimore.

However it definitely gave the impression that manner.

The Browns trailed 24-6 to begin the 1/3 quarter en path to a 38-6 loss and on their opening sequence, Mayfield threw six incompletions to Beckham. 3 have been nullified via defensive consequences, however the seven-play power netted 31 yards, five via the offense.

“He’s a just right soccer participant, so I don’t suppose it’s newsworthy that he’s a point of interest of our offense,” Stefanksi mentioned by the use of Zoom on Monday.

In M&T Financial institution Stadium, Beckham used to be focused 10 occasions and stuck 3 passes for 22 yards, his second-lowest yardage overall in 76 profession video games. His low of 20 got here ultimate Sept. 29 in a victory at Baltimore.

Extra relating to is the craze that endured for Beckham and the Browns.

In his seven-year profession, Beckham has been held below 30 receiving yards six occasions, 4 of the ones up to now 14 video games, all with Mayfield.

In 2019, Beckham stuck 74 passes on 133 goals (55.6 %). Whilst taking part in with a core muscle damage that required surgical treatment, Beckham reached 1,00Zero yards for the 6th time with 1,035 yards, however scored most effective 4 touchdowns. He didn’t make the affect anticipated after being received in a blockbuster industry with the New York Giants in March, 2019.

For the Browns to steer clear of an Zero-2 get started as they host the Cincinnati Bengals for a nationally televised recreation Thursday night time, bettering the relationship between Mayfield and three-time Professional Bowl receiver Beckham is without doubt one of the Browns’ most sensible priorities.

Stefanski mentioned he “certainly” sees hope for the less-than-dynamic duo.

“I don’t suppose he used to be forcing the ball,” Stefanski mentioned of Mayfield with reference to Beckham. “We didn’t attach up to we wish to. I believe it’s a mix of items and also you’ve were given to begin with [the Ravens]. Give them credit score, they made some performs.

“A pair balls I’m certain Baker desires again, a pair routes I’m certain Odell desires again. However that’s the character of this factor. We’ve were given to verify we paintings actual onerous this week, then get available in the market Thursday night time and put our easiest foot ahead.”

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Baker Mayfield completed 21 of 39 passes for 189 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in Sunday's loss to the Ravens.

Baker Mayfield finished 21 of 39 passes for 189 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in Sunday’s loss to the Ravens. (Picture: Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports activities)

A part of the problem may well be the matchup with Ravens Professional Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey. Beckham used to be focused seven occasions and stuck two within the first 2019 matchup of the AFC North foes and Humphrey had two passes defensed.

First-year trainer Stefanski mentioned the Browns don’t want extra time to determine find out how to use Beckham.

“I believe we’ve were given a sexy just right really feel for Odell and his talent set,” Stefanski mentioned. “He’s a skilled soccer participant. It’s our process to place him in place to make performs. Are we going to be told about him and what he’s pleased with, what we’re pleased with all over the season? Sure, in order that will develop. However I believe we now have a sexy just right sense of it at the moment.

“We’re aware of all our avid gamers in the case of how they’re touching it. There have been alternatives early the place the protection took it away or anyone else used to be open.”

Mayfield blamed himself for Beckham’s loss of manufacturing.

“A couple of of the ones occasions the place I did goal him, there have been some defensive consequences, in order that had one thing to do with it, however I need to be higher and provides him a possibility on a few of the ones issues,” Mayfield mentioned Sunday by the use of Zoom. “He’s a super participant so I simply wish to give him a possibility.”

However Beckham’s largest mistake used to be now not Mayfield’s fault.

The Browns confronted third-and-2 from the Baltimore 23 with 50 seconds ultimate in the second one quarter and the Ravens main 17-6. Mayfield discovered an open Beckham, who let the ball slip thru his palms.

Austin Seibert’s 41-yard box objective try sailed extensive proper and the Ravens drove 69 yards in seven performs to a landing that successfully ended the sport.

Practice the Akron Beacon Magazine’s Marla Ridenour on Twitter @MRidenourABJ.


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