AFC Notes: Bengals, Browns, Ravens


With the impressive roster of receivers the Bengals have, including first-round rookie Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, plus QB Joe Burrow‘s love for empty sets, the pull for the Bengals to be a pass-happy offense is strong. But the team’s most successful offensive games have come when they’ve gotten RB Joe Mixon going on the ground this year, including the past two weeks when they’ve blown out the Raiders and Steelers behind a combined 288 yards on the ground from Mixon. 

“We’ve always strived to be balanced when we could,” Bengals OC Brian Callahan said via ESPN’s Ben Baby. “And we found efficiency running the ball this year that we probably didn’t have last year for a lot of reasons. We’re improved there.”

  • Bengals HC Zac Taylor said he has “absolutely” no interest in the University of Oklahoma job: “No. Absolutely not.”  (Ben Baby)


  • Browns GM Andrew Berry said they expect QB Baker Mayfield to play at a “winning level” through his injuries: “Stretches where he has played well for us. He’s worked through injuries, no different than other players on our roster. We expect him to perform at a winning level and to play best football after the bye.” (Scott Petrak)
  • Berry thinks their offense has collectively played poorly: “With the offense, we haven’t been consistent enough in the passing game, and I want to be clear here: that’s not necessarily a one-player problem.” (Nate Ulrich)
  • Berry is confident that second-year HC Kevin Stefanski is the right man for the job: “He has all the virtues and characteristics that are important for our organization. … He’s been transparent with you guys about areas of team that can be better.” (Ulrich)
  • As for whether the organization views Mayfield as their franchise quarterback, Berry responded that they must take a “big-picture approach” and is excited to observe Mayfield over the next five weeks: “You need to take big-picture approach, it’s body of work, we’ve seen Baker play good football here and we’re excited about moving forward and the opportunity ahead of us the next five weeks.” (Ulrich)
  • Berry responded to why they never sat Mayfield earlier this season to let him recover, saying the quarterback has been medically cleared to play: “For any player in terms of whether they’re on the field, it’s are they medically cleared, are they medically cleared that would allow them to function and can he perform on game day?” (Ulrich)
  • Berry added they have “plenty of time” to discuss Mayfield’s contract and other roster decisions: “There will be plenty of time to think about how we’re going to build the roster next year — but right now we’re focused on doing everything in our power to maximize this current season.” (Kimberley A. Martin)
  • Berry doesn’t think Mayfield’s impending contract extension has affected his play: “Baker is physically and mentally resilient. … I doubt contract situation is something that’s top of mind for him.” (Ulrich)


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