The Cleveland Browns have been the victims of a number of bad plays in their history. But the second quarter fumble-touchback will definitely stand out as the one that haunts them.
With 1:42 remaining in the first half, Rashard Higgins caught a 25-yard pass from Baker Mayfield. But Chiefs defender Daniel Sorensen tackled Higgins (helmet first, but not called for helmet-to-helmet), forcing a fumble that went through the endzone for a Chiefs touchback. That play may have been the difference in the game as it was ultimately decided by just five points.
After the game, Baker Mayfield did his best not to seem too broken up about it. Speaking to the media, he said that there were other plays the team could have made to make up for the missed opportunity.
“There’s so many other plays we could’ve (made)…” Baker said before listing off some of the other ones. “We hurt ourselves in the first half and they capitalized.”
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 18, 2021
The loss to the Chiefs was a disheartening end to a historic season for the Browns. QB Baker Mayfield set a franchise record for touchdowns while leading the Browns to an 11-5 record. It was their best season since the franchise returned in 1999.
The Browns also got their first playoff win in over 20 years, beating the rival Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wildcard Round.
As disappointing as this finish was, the Browns’ trajectory appears to be pointing up. They have a quarterback they can win with, a good head coach, smart executives in the front office and plenty of playmakers on both sides of the ball.
We haven’t seen the last of Baker Mayfield in the postseason.