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Rhule Gives Assessment of Sam Darnold & Baker Mayfield Following Preseason Opener

The battle is just getting started.

With both quarterbacks only getting one series on Saturday, we knew the battle between Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield would spill over into week two of the preseason. 

Mayfield started the game and went 4/7 for 46 yards and completed a couple of passes on third down to keep the drive alive, setting up a 41-yard field goal from the nearly automatic Zane Gonzalez.

“I thought we moved the ball well down the field," said head coach Matt Rhule in regards to Mayfield's lone series. "He did a nice job of moving it with his feet, finding the checkdowns, and then we got down there tight in the red zone, we called a play-action, the receiver doesn't run the route so he has to desert the play. Fumbled the snap and ended up not scoring. So, still a lot to build on. But I did think he moved the ball, he controlled a nice long drive to start the game, so it looked somewhat clean until the very end.”

Sam Darnold was the beneficiary of a turnover for once as the defense set him up shop following a fumble by Antonio Gibson, which was recovered by rookie defensive end Amaré Barno. Three plays later, Darnold dropped one in the bucket to Rashard Higgins for a touchdown.

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“I think overall for the offense, we protected the football. I don’t believe we turned it over today. We won the turnover battle. He [Sam Darnold] took a big hit on the touchdown throw, made a great play with pads on his head, he stepped up and made it. After that, both guys, I have to really watch the tape to see exactly what they did. But I thought they were both in command and made the right checks, so I was pleased.”

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