Sooners in the NFL, Week 17: Baker Mayfield delivers on his pre-draft comments

Oklahoma's 2017 Heisman Trophy winner said at the Combine he would be the guy to turn around the Browns' moribund franchise ... and he was right
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Baker Mayfield is playoff bound

Baker Mayfield is playoff bound

Long before Baker Mayfield built his chief reputation with the Cleveland Browns, he predicted he was fully capable of pulling the NFL’s most moribund franchise out of a two-decade losing slump.

During the 2018 NFL Combine, Mayfield confidently stated, “I think that if anybody’s going to turn that franchise around it would be me. They’re close. They’re very close. They have the right pieces. I think they just need one guy, a quarterback, to make the difference.”

The following April, with the No. 1 overall pick, the Browns hoped to solve their issues by drafting the 2017 Oklahoma Heisman winner.

Mayfield has certainly made all of the difference.

Previously, the Browns suffered a devastating record, winning only four games in the last three seasons, including a 1-31 stretch in 2016 and 2017.

Now, the Browns are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

In just three full seasons, Mayfield has a total of 11,115 offensive yards and 75 touchdown passes, has completed 62 percent of his throws and with a 95.9 efficiency rating this season, raised his career rating to 89.1.

He's also just the third NFL QB with 3,500 yards and 20 TD passes in each of his first three seasons, joining Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck.

However, the most impressive record being credited to Mayfield is simple: The Browns are 11-5 this season, the franchise’s best record since 1994.

Mayfield was right on with his comment at the combine.

Through the adversity of four head coaches, three offensive coordinators and two general managers, Mayfield’s results — and the Browns’ trip to the playoffs — validate the team’s decision to draft him No. 1, and validates Mayfield’s uncommonly powerful belief in himself.

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Here’s a look at former Sooners headed to the NFL playoffs:

Baltimore Ravens

11-5, 2nd in AFC North

TE Mark Andrews, WR Marquise Brown, OL Orlando Brown, OL Ben Powers

Buffalo Bills

13-3, 1st in AFC East

OL Daryl Williams

Cleveland Browns

11-5, 3rd in AFC North

QB Baker Mayfield

Kansas City Chiefs

14-2, 1st in AFC West

James Winchester

Los Angeles Rams

10-6, 2nd in NFC West

OL Bobby Evans, LB Obo Okoronkwo

Washington Football Team

7-9, first in NFC East

WR Jeff Badet, P Tress Way

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Here’s how the Sooners did the NFL in Week 17:

Arizona Cardinals

(18-7 L, LA Rams)

QB Kyler Murray: Played 25 of 53 snaps as a starter on offense, injured (ankle), returned. 2 rushes, 3 yards, 1 touchdown. Completed 8-of-11 passes for 87 yards, 0 touchdowns. 1 sack. 1 interception.

DE Jordan Phillips: Did not play.

DT Stacy McGee:

Baltimore Ravens

(38-3 W, Cincinnati)

TE Mark Andrews: Played 45 of 68 snaps as a backup on offense. 7 targets, 4 catches, 27 yards.

WR Marquise Brown: Played 43 of 68 snaps as a backup on offense. 8 targets, 5 catches, 41 yards, 2 touchdowns.

OL Orlando Brown: Played all 68 snaps as a starter on offense and 7 snaps on special teams.

OL Ben Powers: Played all 66 snaps as a starter on offense and 5 snaps on special teams.

Buffalo Bills

(56-26 W, Miami)

OL Daryl Williams: Played all 64 snaps on offense as a starter at RT and 8 on snaps on special teams.

Cincinnati Bengals

(38-3 L, Baltimore)

RB Joe Mixon: Not Active.

RB Samaje Perine: Played 29 of 76 snaps on offense as a backup and 17 on special teams. 9 carries, 51 yards.

LB Jordan Evans: Made 3 tackles (1 solo).

DE Amani Bledsoe: Made 1 tackle.

K Austin Seibert: Played 16 snaps on special teams. Good on 1 field goal and 1 kick return.

Cleveland Browns

(24-22 W, Pittsburgh)

QB Baker Mayfield: Played all 62 snaps as a starter on offense. Completed 17-of-27 passes for 196 yards, 1 touchdown. 6 rushes for 44 yards.

Dallas Cowboys

(23-19 L, NY Giants)

WR CeeDee Lamb: Played 61 of 82 snaps as a starter on offense and 5 snaps on special teams. 7 targets, 5 catches, 43 yards. 1 carry, 3 yards.

DT Neville Gallimore: Played 31 of 73 snaps on defense as a starter. 4 tackles (1 solo).

TE Blake Bell: Played 16 of 82 snaps as a backup on offense and 9 snaps on special teams.

S Steven Parker: Played 1 of 58 snaps as a backup on defense and 9 snaps on special teams. Made 1 tackle.

Denver Broncos

(32-31 L, Las Vegas)

DB Parnell Motley: Played 67 of 69 snaps as a starter on defense at right CB. 6 tackles (3 solo), 1 pass defensed, 1 fumble recovery.

Detroit Lions

(37-35 W, Minnesota)

RB Adrian Peterson: Played 15 of 58 snaps as a backup on offense. 7 carries, 63 yards, 1 touchdown.

Kansas City Chiefs

(38-21 L, LA Chargers)

James Winchester: Played 5 snaps on special teams. Perfect on 3 placekick snaps and  2 punt snaps.

Los Angeles Chargers

(38-21 W, Kansas City)

LB Kenneth Murray: Played all 53 snaps as a starter on defense and 3 snaps on special teams. Made 3 tackles (1 solo).

Los Angeles Rams

(18-7 W, Arizona)

OL Bobby Evans: Did not play.

LB Obo Okoronkwo: Played 10 of 63 snaps as a backup on defense and 14 on special teams. 1 quarterback hit.

Minnesota Vikings

OL Dru Samia: Played 7 snaps on special teams.

New York Giants

(23-19 W, Dallas)

WR Sterling Shepard: Played 49 of 58 snaps as a starter on offense. 10 targets, 8 catches, 41 yards, 1 touchdown. 2 carries, 24 yards, 1 touchdown.

Philadelphia Eagles

(20-14 L, Washington)

QB Jalen Hurts: Played 50 of 68 snaps as a starter on offense. Completed 7-of-20 passes for 72 yards. 8 carries, 34 yards, 2 touchdowns. 1 interception.

San Francisco 49ers

(26-23 L, Seattle)

OL Trent Williams: Placed on injured reserve.

Washington Football Team

(20-14 W, Philadelphia)

WR Jeff Badet: Not Active.

P Tress Way: Played 10 snaps on special teams. Was perfect on 4 holds and 6 punts, 43.5-yard average.