Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield walks off the field after an incomplete pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

David Richard/Associated Press

Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry praised quarterback Baker Mayfield on Wednesday for the job he has done so far this season.

According to ESPN’s Jake Trotter, Berry said:

“I think Baker has done a nice job. He has done a nice job of putting us in a position to win games in the first eight weeks of the season. I think we have all seen him progress throughout on a week-to-week basis. He has done a nice job of learning the system and getting more comfortable in the system, and again, ultimately putting the team in a position to win. So, we are certainly pleased with it from that perspective.”

At 5-3, the Browns are off to their best start since 2014, and while defense and the running game have played a significant role in their success, Mayfield has shown flashes as well and is one pace for a career-high 30 touchdown passes.

After finishing second in the Offensive Rookie of the Year voting in 2018, Mayfield took a step back last season when he threw 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. That put the former No. 1 overall pick under the microscope entering his third season.

He has largely been up to the task thus far, completing 61.4 percent of his passes for 1,514 yards, 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions through eight games. Mayfield is also a solid 12th in the NFL in QBR this season at 73.2 this season after finishing 19th with a 54.4 QBR last season.

The biggest issue for Mayfield this season and throughout his career has been a lack of consistency. The past few weeks are a perfect microcosm of that, as he sandwiched arguably the best game of his career in between two duds.

Mayfield threw for 119 yards, one score and two interceptions in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 6 before bouncing back with 297 yards, five touchdowns and one pick in a come-from-behind win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7.

Rather than building on that performance, Mayfield went 12-of-25 for 122 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in a 16-6 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders last week in poor weather.

The Browns have been able to cover for Mayfield’s inconsistency in some ways due to their strength in other areas.

Cleveland is tied for seventh in the NFL with 20 sacks thanks largely to the play of NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate Myles Garrett, plus the Browns rank fifth in the NFL in rushing offense with 150 yards per game on the power of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb prior to his injury.

The Browns need to maintain in those areas and will likely need even better play from Mayfield for the remainder of the season, but they would be in the playoffs as the No. 7 seed if the season ended today, which is something Cleveland has not accomplished since 2002.

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