“In every way, an embarrassment.”
That was a headline Tuesday morning in The Plain Dealer after the Cleveland Browns laid a Brachiosaurus-sized egg in a 31-3 loss at San Francisco on Monday night.
The Browns are now 2-3 as they return home to host the Seahawks (4-1) on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium (10 a.m. PT, Fox).
1. Baker Mayfield has been dreadful.
The Browns QB has the lowest passer rating (68.5) among the NFL’s regular starters. Against the 49ers, Mayfield was 8-of-22 passing for 100 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions and had a 13.4 QB rating. ESPN wrote that the Browns appeared “completely discombobulated” Monday night.
Overall, Mayfield is completing 55.9% of his passes with four touchdowns and a league-leading eight interceptions in five games.
He was sacked four times Monday night and in five games he’s been sacked 16 times — after being sacked 25 times in 14 games as a rookie in 2018.
“It was like one step forward and two back,” Mayfield said Monday night. “There was no rhythm for the offense to get into. When we did, we got down to the red zone and didn’t finish.”
2. Odell Beckham Jr. hasn’t lived up to the hype, either.
Acquired in a big trade from the Giants in the offseason, OBJ has just two catches in each of the Browns’ last two games, for 47 yards.
Beckham also lost a fumble in the fourth quarter Monday night, in his first attempt at a punt return all season.
“I felt like it could give us a spark or something like that,” he told reporters afterward. “You could feel the energy they had already taken out of us. It seemed like we were ready to go home. I wanted to keep fighting through the final whistle.”
3. Nick Chubb has been a bright spot for the Browns.
The 5-foot-11, 227-pound second-year running back has emerged as one of the top runners in the league, ranking fourth in yards per game (97.0).
He has 485 yards and four TDs on 94 rushes, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
In the Browns’ 40-25 victory at Baltimore in Week 4, Chubb had 165 yards and three TDs on 20 carries. That included an 88-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, during which he was clocked at 21.9 mph — one of the fastest runs in the NFL this season.
4. Cleveland’s defense has been vulnerable against the run.
The Browns allowed 275 yards on the ground to the Niners, including an 83-yard TD run by Matt Breida on the first play from scrimmage Monday night.
Cleveland ranks 29th in the league against the run at 150.8 yards per game.
But the Browns do have a formidable defensive line, led by Myles Garrett and ex-Seahawk Sheldon Richardson. The Browns have 16 sacks in five games and a sack rate of 9.3%, which ranks No. 4 in the NFL.
5. The Browns were a trendy preseason pick in the AFC North.
And for as bad as Cleveland was Monday night, the good news for the Browns is they play in one of the league’s weakest divisions. They are only one game behind the Ravens and have already won in Baltimore. The Steelers are 1-4 and the Bengals are 0-5.
The Browns are 0-2 vs. the NFC West, counting Monday’s blowout in San Francisco and a Week 3 loss to the Rams (20-13) in Cleveland.