Down 35–0 at halftime, it was clear that the Panthers needed to do something different.
In went Baker Mayfield, and things got a tiny bit better. They won the second half 21–7.
Mayfield played admirably.
- 14/20 passing
- 155 yards
- 2 touchdowns
- 0 interceptions
- 126 QBR
As weird as it sounds, Mayfield playing well might actually be part of the problem.
The huge problem with Baker
Baker Mayfield looked like a legitimate starting QB for one half of football.
That's not a new look for Mayfield. In 2020 he threw for 26 touchdowns versus only 8 interceptions.
The problem is that Baker isn't even close to consistent. This year his completion percentage is just 56 %. He has also never thrown for over 4,000 yards despite the NFL getting more pass-heavy by the year.
Next Gen Stats tracks quarterbacks' completion percentage versus their expected completion percentage. Mayfield is dead last in the NFL with a -10% completion % vs. expected.
Why it's such a big problem
Mayfield had a good game or two might not sound like a bad thing, but it is.
He is an average at best QB but plays well enough at times to give teams, and fans hope that he can be more. Once he convinces people he can be more, he reverts to the inconsistent QB he usually is.
It's possible to win a Super Bowl with an average QB, but it leaves you no margin for error. If you go that route, you better have a great OL and top 5 defense.
I'm not here to trash Baker Mayfield. I actually think he has the potential to be above average if given a chance. I just don't think he will ever be elite.
If he's not going to be elite, it's best that the Panthers move on at the end of the season.