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Baker Mayfield: Carolina Panthers quarterback says criticism of him is ‘completely fair’

Baker Mayfield: “I’m pretty comfortable in this position. I have experience at being able to bounce back, being able to handle things the right way and to lead”; Carolina Panthers (1-3) have the worst offense in the NFL through four weeks, averaging 263.3 yards per game

Last Updated: 06/10/22 2:18pm


Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield is 1-3 to start the season with his new team

Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield says the criticism he has received after his first four games with his new team is “completely fair”.

The Panthers are currently 1-3 this season, with Mayfield leading statistically the worst-ranked offense in the NFL, averaging just 263.3 yards per game.

The No 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Mayfield was traded to Carolina for a 2024 conditional fifth-round pick after four seasons as a starter with the Cleveland Browns.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield runs in for a seven-yard touchdown against his former team the Cleveland Browns

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Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield runs in for a seven-yard touchdown against his former team the Cleveland Browns

Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield runs in for a seven-yard touchdown against his former team the Cleveland Browns

He is averaging just 186.8 passing yards per game this season, with four touchdowns to three interceptions, with only a 54.7 completion percentage on his throws.

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“I pride myself on being a guy that elevates the guys around him and being able to lead at an extremely high level,” Mayfield told reporters.

“Obviously, that has not happened yet. I take a lot of blame for that and I consistently will.

“I’m working really hard on that. And it starts with me just doing my job the very best I can and going from there.”

Highlights of the Arizona Cardinals against the Carolina Panthers in Week Four of the NFL season

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Highlights of the Arizona Cardinals against the Carolina Panthers in Week Four of the NFL season

Highlights of the Arizona Cardinals against the Carolina Panthers in Week Four of the NFL season

He added: “I’ve been here before. I’m pretty comfortable in this position.

“I have experience at being able to bounce back, being able to handle things the right way and to lead. For me, we’ll be just fine.”

Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey has also spoken of his confidence in the team to turn things around, noting that the coaching staff aren’t “coaching bad football” and saying that the offense is leaving a lot of plays on the field.

Mayfield agreed, adding: “It’s more frustrating than anything. There’s plays to be made, but we have to make them. It’s on us. It’s on me as the quarterback.”

“Nobody is happy where we’re at, plain and simple. It’s time for our offense to actually play well instead of just relying on our defense and special teams to save us.

“Let’s get it fixed. It’s time.”

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule is under pressure after 10 losses in the last 11 games for the team

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule is under pressure after 10 losses in the last 11 games for the team

Carolina head coach Matt Rhule, who finds himself firmly in the hot seat after 10 losses in 11 games and a 11-26 overall record since taking the job, is confident Mayfield can turn things around.

“He’s resilient,” Rhule said of Mayfield. “You don’t go from unrecruited out of college, to the Heisman Trophy, to first pick of the draft, without having tremendous self-confidence.

“Baker, he’s been through a lot already as a player. I have no concerns about his resilience.”

It doesn’t get any easier for Mayfield and the stuttering Panthers offense, however, as they are set to face the San Francisco 49ers and the league’s No 1 ranked scoring defense on Sunday.

Talanoa Hufanga secured an interception and raced 52 yards for a game-clinching touchdown for the San Francisco 49ers against the Los Angeles Rams

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Talanoa Hufanga secured an interception and raced 52 yards for a game-clinching touchdown for the San Francisco 49ers against the Los Angeles Rams

Talanoa Hufanga secured an interception and raced 52 yards for a game-clinching touchdown for the San Francisco 49ers against the Los Angeles Rams

The 49ers are currently giving up a paltry 11.5 points per game through four weeks, while they had seven sacks of the quarterback and 17 pressures in their Monday night win over defending Super Bowl-champion the Los Angeles Rams.

“It’s a great challenge for us,” Mayfield said of their Week Five matchup. “Their defense is playing at an extremely, extremely high level.

“We’re looking forward to it. But it’s one of those weeks that you’ve got to know what you’re facing and own up to it.”

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