Thursday, July 7

Baker Mayfield with and without Odell Beckham Jr .: breaking down the passing trends of Browns quarterbacks with star WR

Odell Beckham Jr. has established himself as one of the league’s top talents as a wide receiver.

From his run down the road, his dazzling ability to make plays, and his breakaway speed, there are few who can match his skills.

However, given that the wide receiver is in the middle of his third season in Cleveland, it appears to be based on the numbers that Baker Mayfield is a worse quarterback when Beckham is playing. Take a look at the divisions in Mayfield’s numbers since Beckham came between wide receiver on the field and when he’s not, before Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. With Beckham in the game: 40 touchdown passes, 28 interceptions and a 63.5 percent completion rate. Without Beckham, 12 touchdown passes, three interceptions and a 66.7 completion percentage.

Why does Mayfield seem to be a different quarterback with Beckham in the game? SN dives into the numbers.

Baker Mayfield with Odell Beckham Jr.

Having a dynamic wide reception like Beckham allows a quarterback to take a few extra opportunities.

But you may be risking too much.

According to data from NFL SavantAmong Mayfield’s pass attempts with Beckham on the field, 21.8 percent were considered deep, 15 yards or more. He especially focused on the deep right zone, with 10.7 percent of his passes directed in that direction.

And it’s when he throws deep that he gets into trouble. Despite throwing deep just over 20 percent of the time, 46.4 percent of his interceptions with Beckham on the field have come when he tries to throw deep, while only 22.5 percent of his touchdowns have come from shooting. deep. He has completed only 48 percent of his deep throws with Beckham in the game.

Made with Flourish

The right deep zone, in particular, has become a Mayfield favorite when throwing Beckham. Among the places where Beckham has been targeted, 16.8 percent of pitches have been to the deep right compared to just 8.9 percent of targets for all other receivers.

Given Beckham’s success in the past, it makes sense.

But the risk-reward of taking the deep shot at Beckham hasn’t paid off. Five times Mayfield has thrown Beckham in that part of the field where he has been intercepted, while Beckham has scored just one touchdown in that region. Mayfield has just a 50 percent completion percentage when he throws Beckham deep to the right. Compare that even to the short middle, where Beckham has been attacked only 12.6 percent of the time, but has caught two touchdowns while Mayfield has been intercepted twice.

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Overall, Mayfield has thrown 10 interceptions when targeting Beckham and connected with him for just six touchdowns. Below is Mayfield’s pass when targeting Beckham:

Pass type Pass location Target rate Interceptions Touchdowns Yards Completion rate Yards per game
DEEP LEFT 2. 3 10.75% 1 1 177 30.43% 7,696
DEEP MIDDLE 9 4.21% 1 118 44.44% 13,111
DEEP RIGHT 36 16.82% 5 1 412 50.00% 11,444
SHORT LEFT fifty 23.36% 2 336 78.00% 6,720
SHORT MEDIUM 27 12.62% 2 2 238 59.26% 8,815
SHORT RIGHT fifty 23.36% 1 276 58.00% 5,520

And this is what generally happens when Beckham is playing, regardless of whether he is the target receiver or not.

Pass type Pass location Target rate Interceptions Touchdowns Yards Completion rate Yards per game
DEEP LEFT 55 6.42% 1 2 522 38.18% 9,491
DEEP MIDDLE 32 3.73% 5 3 554 68.75% 17,313
DEEP RIGHT 92 10.74% 7 4 1099 46.74% 11,946
SHORT LEFT 2. 3. 4 27.30% 5 8 1596 74.79% 6,821
SHORT MEDIUM 147 17.15% 8 9 1158 66.67% 7,878
SHORT RIGHT 262 30.57% 2 14 1433 62.21% 5,469

In 2019, there was no target for the Browns that caused more interceptions when thrown at them than Beckham. Of Mayfield’s 21 interceptions, nine came when he tried to throw it in Beckham’s direction. He pitched just eight picks in 2020 and Beckham played in just seven games before tearing his ACL. There were three peaks in their direction.

It’s worth noting that not all of this has to do with Mayfield making riskier decisions. There has also been some regression from Beckham. According to ProFootballFocus, Beckham received passing grades above 80 in every season with the Giants except one. Since arriving in Cleveland, Beckham has earned a passing grade of 69.4 in 2019, 73.7 in 2020 and 72.4 so far in 2021.

Beckham has been hampered by injuries now twice in his career. He missed most of the 2017 season due to an ankle injury and tore his ACL in 2019. Although he is only 28 years old, he may not be the same receiver he once was and therefore Mayfield He shouldn’t see it as the guaranteed catch he had. It could have been before I got to Cleveland.

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Baker Mayfield without Odell Beckham Jr.

It would make sense that without one of his best receivers, Mayfield would play a little more conservatively.

And to some extent, it does. Based on the data, he attempts a deep pass only 18.8 percent of the time without Beckham on the field. A little change, but a change anyway.

Most notable is perhaps his completion percentage and dearth of interceptions. Mayfield completes 50.8 percent of his deep passes and only has one interception when he tries those deep shots without Beckham on the field. He also has three touchdowns on those deep balls. Based on the rates, only 1.6 percent of Mayfield’s deep shots are intercepted without Beckham on the field, while 7.3 percent of his deep shots with Beckham out are intercepted.

Take a look at Mayfield’s passing without Beckham on the field.

Pass type Pass location Target rate Interceptions Touchdowns Yards Completion rate Yards per game
DEEP LEFT 24 6.82% 296 41.67% 12,333
DEEP MIDDLE 6 1.70% 1 114 66.67% 19,000
DEEP RIGHT 33 9.38% 3 508 54.55% 15,394
SHORT LEFT 126 35.80% 2 7 885 73.02% 7,024
SHORT MEDIUM 51 14.49% 1 369 70.59% 7,235
SHORT RIGHT 95 26.99% 1 599 67.37% 6,305

In general, Mayfield is content to keep his passes shorter and it pays off. Nine of his 12 touchdown passes without Beckham have been short passes, and his completion percentage is a robust 70.6 percent.

Even when Beckham is playing, other receivers have been able to make more dynamic plays by catching deep passes. Beckham averaged 10.4 yards per goal on deep passes, while other receivers averaged 13.8 yards per goal on deep balls. And when Beckham isn’t in the game, that deep-ball average goes up to 14.6 yards per goal.

Here’s a look at Mayfield’s passing numbers when targeting other receivers.

Pass type Pass location Target rate Interceptions Touchdowns Yards Completion rate Yards per game
DEEP LEFT 56 5.63% 1 641 42.86% 11,446
DEEP MIDDLE 29 2.91% 6 2 550 75.86% 18,966
DEEP RIGHT 89 8.94% 2 6 1195 48.31% 13,427
SHORT LEFT 310 31.16% 5 fifteen 2145 73.55% 6,919
SHORT MEDIUM 171 17.19% 6 8 1289 69.01% 7,538
SHORT RIGHT 307 30.85% 2 14 1756 64.50% 5,720

Overall, Mayfield attempts deep passes 18.1 percent of the time to non-Beckham receivers, but on those attempts, he has nine touchdowns to eight interceptions total.

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This would certainly seem to indicate that when Mayfield is ready to launch, he will be being a bit more selective. Other receivers don’t have the same kind of playmaking ability, so you’ll likely only take those opportunities on the field when you feel more confident about the chances of success.

ProFootballFocus Data I’d also suggest that Mayfield is a better passer when Beckham isn’t out there. According to his data, his big-time pitching percentage was his career high in 2018, before Beckham’s arrival, at 7.7 percent. His second best season was 2020, when Beckham was out for half the year with a torn ACL, as Mayfield had a 6.1 percent rate. His lowest level came in Beckham’s only full year with the team, 2019, when he had a 5 percent rate.

Loss-worthy pitches also increase when Beckham is on the field. According to data from ProFootballFocus, Mayfield’s lowest turnover-worthy game rate has come this season at 2.8 percent, and his second-lowest in 2020 at 3 percent. His rookie season was just 3.1 percent. The worst came, again, in Beckham’s only full year with the team, when 3.7 percent of Mayfield’s plays were worth losing.

Should Browns fans be concerned?

The numbers are not exactly good. It’s clear that Mayfield becomes too much of a gunman when he has Beckham’s safe hands on the field, and he tends to generate more interceptions.

This doesn’t necessarily have to worry Browns fans. For starters, ProFootballFocus rated Beckham at 90.3 in passing plays in the team’s most recent game against the Cardinals, the highest since arriving in Cleveland. Mayfield declined compared to his season rate, but in part, his troubles can be attributed to an injury-decimated team of late with running back Nick Chubb and wide receiver Jarvis Landry out during that game.

Ultimately, what it could mean for Mayfield is deciding how often to shoot Beckham. There’s no question that Beckham can make the plays, but if he’s not the catcher he used to be, they’ll beat him.

There are enough guns in Cleveland that, when healthy, it’s a dangerous offense. It’s just a matter of how Mayfield chooses to use each of his options.

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