Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield's Interceptions Proving Costly for Browns
Baker Mayfield has thrown the most interceptions (54) of any quarterback in the NFL since entering the league in 2018.
That stat drew more attention following the Browns' 24-22 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Saturday, a game in which Mayfield threw four interceptions.
With two games remaining, the Browns (7-8) are in last place in the AFC North and in serious danger of missing the playoffs. They face the Steelers on Monday Night Football next week before closing the season against the Bengals.
Meanwhile, the debate continues about whether the Browns should sign Mayfield to a lucrative long-term contract extension to remain their franchise quarterback. Mayfield has been playing with a fractured shoulder most of the year, and he played Saturday after just being removed from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, which prevented him from practicing all week.
One of Mayfield's biggest backers is All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett, who said he continued to support his quarterback following Saturday's loss.
"Baker, he's done a great job while he's been the quarterback for us and I'm going to believe in him as long as he's got a Browns uniform on," Garrett said via Jeff Risdon of Yahoo.com. "I'm going to roll with him and I'm going to support him, be there for him, for better or for worse.
"He's made some great plays, he's made some not-so-great plays. So have all of us, so don't judge him for when he was injured or coming back from COVID. I mean, the guy can play. Until the end of the season and whatever happens afterwards, we're going to stay together and we're going to keep on rolling."
Mayfield appreciated the support, but admitted he must play better for Cleveland to make the playoffs. He threw one interception in the red zone against Green Bay and the Browns' chance for a game-winning field goal fizzled when Mayfield threw his last interception on their final possession.
"I hurt this team," Mayfield said via Jake Trotter of ESPN.com. "It was just missed throws. There's no excuse. It is what it is."
Pittsburgh Steelers: Blowout Loss to Chiefs Damages Pittsburgh's Playoff Chances
Pittsburgh (7-7-1) didn't look like a team that's playoff worthy Sunday, falling behind 30-0 before losing 36-10 to the Kansas City Chiefs. Veteran CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz admitted during the broadcast that he was not impressed by the Steelers' effort.
"The Steelers are sleepwalking through this thing," Nantz said via Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "They're getting beat every single play. Physically, emotionally, it's just not there."
The Steelers won the AFC North last year, but since their 11-0 start in 2020 they are 8-12-1 during the regular season. Meanwhile, the Steelers have been getting off to abysmal starts, outscored 114-19 in the first half of their last six games.
The Steelers would be eliminated from playoff contention by losing to the Browns on Monday night, and Pittsburgh must win its final two games to keep any playoff hopes alive. Veteran defensive end Cam Heyward says he wants to see the Steelers play with more pride, regardless of whether that leads to the playoffs.
"I think a lot will be said in these next two games," Heyward said via Joe Rudder of TribLive.com. "I know it breaks my heart to let our fans down and to let our team down to go out like that. Man, I ain't ready to throw in no damn towel."
Cincinnati Bengals: Young Offensive Weapons Are in the Record Books
The Bengals (9-6) can clinch the AFC North by winning Sunday's home against the red-hot Chiefs (11-4) who have won eight straight. It will be the first game against Kansas City for second-year quarterback Joe Burrow, and he's coming off his career-high 525-yard passing performance in Sunday's win over the Ravens.
With Burrow joined by receivers Ja'Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and running back Joe Mixon, the Bengals are having an offensive season that's putting them in the record books.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is clearly on top of his game as well, with eight touchdown passes and one interception in his last three games. However, Burrow thinks the Bengals will be up for the challenge.
"We got a chance to go out and seal the division with that win," Burrow said via Peter King of NBC’s Pro Football Talk. "So we're excited about that opportunity. Obviously, it's not gonna be easy."