Despite missing several wide receivers for this game today, the Cleveland Browns lost in shocking fashion to the New York Jets on Sunday, damaging their playoff prospects in the process.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield spoke with reporters after the 23-16 loss and took full responsibility for the result, but he didn’t stay around long enough to even answer a second question.
“It’s pretty much 2020 all in 24 hours,’’ Mayfield, who was without his top four receivers because of COVID-19 and two starting offensive linemen, said. “Stuff happens. You have to adapt and change. It’s not an excuse.
“I’m just going to go ahead and answer all the questions right now.
“It’s not an excuse, but, yeah, it sucks that we didn’t have our guys. But we believe in the guys that we have in this locker room, no matter who it is. That’s why they’re here. That’s why they’re Cleveland Browns. That’s why they were brought here. That’s why we [sought] them out. We believe in them, and I told every single one of those guys that.
“There’s no excuse. Plain and simple, I failed this team. I put three balls on the ground, two of them that they recovered and then the other on the fourth down obviously I need to just hold onto the damn ball. So plain and simple, I have to hold onto the damn ball. I failed this team. We had exactly what we needed to win this game, and I didn’t do good enough. That’s it.
“I’m proud of these for being able to step up. I mean, these guys didn’t even think they were going to play. So for anybody to criticize them, shame on you. Put it on me for not doing my job, for not playing at a high level like I should have, for not getting these guys going and finishing out this game.
“So I’ve got to hold onto the ball for a QB sneak. Obviously, Kareem [Hunt] was in the right spot at the right time, grabbed the ball and tried to advance, but you can’t advance a fumble under two minutes in the fourth quarter. It is what it is. This one’s on me.
“But here’s the thing: Yeah, this one’s going to sting for a day or two, but we have the Steelers to win and get in. Yes, I’m aware of what could have happened if we would have won today. I’m well aware of that. But it is what it is. So I’m going to have to roll with these punches. Backs against the wall, and we have to win to get in. And you know what? This group fought today, but I didn’t do enough. I didn’t play well enough for us to win, and that’s it.”
Mayfield was 28-of-53 for 285 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Cleveland is now in a heated battle for the three AFC wild-card spots.