Baker Mayfield’s debut as a Panther—against his former team the Browns—was surrounded with plenty of hype. The game lived up to the buildup, though: Mayfield’s Panthers came up short in a comeback effort, with the Browns pulling out a 26-24 victory thanks to a 58-yard field goal by Cade York with eight seconds to play.
The Panthers offense started off slowly, totaling just 13 yards in 19 plays across their first five drives. Carolina punted four times and Mayfield threw an interception during that span as Cleveland opened up a 14-0 lead.
The Browns led 20-7 after three quarters before the Panthers mounted a comeback, eventually taking a 24-23 lead with 1:13 left before York delivered the game-winning kick.
After the game, Mayfield spoke about the pre-game narratives surrounding his return to his old team.
“Everybody made this out to be the Super Bowl, but despite what everybody’s gonna make of this, there’s 16 more games,” Mayfield said. “The Super Bowl’s not until February, this is the beginning of September.”
Mayfield lamented the offense’s poor start, saying he felt confident the team could correct its mistakes. The Panthers scored on three consecutive drives to take the lead in the fourth quarter, and Mayfield finished the game completing 16 of 27 pass attempts for 235 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Mayfield quipped that he was happy to see some of his old teammates, yet he wished he could have gotten a different result.
“It was good to see some people. Obviously disappointed with the way things finished, I would love to have bragging rights against those guys, but we didn’t finish,” Mayfield said. “Mostly because we didn’t start fast.”
The Panthers will try for their first win of the 2022 season when they on the Giants on the road in Week 2.
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