Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield seems with each passing week to more and more justify his status as the first-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He has certainly been the highest performer as a passer among the draft class, even if Lamar Jackson has been helping the Baltimore Ravens win games. But, of course, the Ravens have a better team with better coaching.
With yesterday’s game against the Carolina Panthers, he helped to further cement himself as a legitimate starter this early into his career, accomplishing something that had only twice been done before in the Super Bowl era. With his 51-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry in the second quarter, Mayfield became just the third quarterback since 1966 to throw at least one touchdown in each of his first 10 career starts.
QB @BakerMayfield joins Kurt Warner (1999) and Brad Johnson (1996-97) as the only NFL players since 1966 to throw at least one TD pass in each of their first 10 career starts pic.twitter.com/99q4xloNJc
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 9, 2018
The only two quarterbacks who had ever done that previously were Brad Johnson between the 1996 and 1997 seasons and then Kurt Warner in 1999. Johnson was in his third season when he started eight games—his first starts—in 1996. He threw 15 touchdowns in those eight starts and also had two touchdowns in each of his first two starts in 1997.
In fact, Johnson threw at least one touchdown in each of his first 15 starts through the middle of the 1997 season. As for Warner, he started and played in every game in 1999 and had at least one touchdown pass in all of them, 41 in total. He would throw a touchdown in his first seven starts of the 2000 season as well, giving him a touchdown in each of his first 23 starts.
Entering yesterday’s game, Mayfield had thrown 18 touchdown passes in his first nine career starts, averaging two touchdowns per game. He threw three touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons and then four against the Cincinnati Bengals in back-to-back weeks, though he had just one late score in the Browns’ loss to the Houston Texans a week ago.
Mayfield finished yesterday’s 26-20 victory completing 18 of 22 passes for 238 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions, posting a quarterback rating of 126.9. Nick Cubb and Landry also had rushing touchdowns and they added two field goals. He has now thrown for 2877 yards and 19 touchdowns on the season with 10 interceptions.
In case you were wondering about Patrick Mahomes, he started one game last season and did not throw a touchdown pass. He also failed to throw a touchdown pass in Week Five of this season against the Jacksonville Jaguars, throwing two interceptions instead, so he failed to throw a touchdown in two of his first six games.