Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield has made a career of proving his doubters wrong. At this point most know his story as a walk-on in college to Heisman Trophy winner. As a professional, Mayfield has had plenty of detractors as well.
Many had counted him out as a potential franchise quarterback before his third season in the pros when he led the Cleveland Browns to a playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Many more were out on him headed into this season as the Bucs starter following two disappointing seasons in 2021 and 2022 which saw him play for three different teams.
One of those detractors is Peter King of NBC Sports. King had Baker Mayfield and the Bucs going 3-14 this season in his preseason predictions as part of a total rebuild of the organization in a post-Tom Brady world.
Bucs QB Baker Mayfield- Photo by: USA Today
Needless to say, with the Bucs now 2-0 on the young season, King, along with many others, are singing a different tune. From King’s “Football Morning in America” column on Monday:
“Baker Mayfield is on fire, as is Tampa Bay. What a great start for Mayfield, playing for his fourth team in the last 21 months. No quarterback is his peer through two weeks on third downs (20 of 23 for 201 yards and three touchdowns). So much for geniuses like me who thought the Bucs would be in for a total rebuild this year.”
Mayfield has yet to throw an interception or fumble the ball in either of Tampa Bay’s victories over Minnesota or Chicago. The new Bucs quarterback has completed 47-of-68 passes (69.1%) for 490 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Mayfield has also been sacked just once, but both he and the Bucs will face the biggest test of the year so far on Monday night when the 2-0 Philadelphia Eagles come to town for a prime time game.
Peter King Has A History Of Doubting Baker Mayfield
Peter King being down on Baker Mayfield is not a new occurrence, and Mayfield has been keeping track it seems from his response to JP Peterson’s question following the Bucs’ win over the Bears on Sunday.
My Dude is a baller!! I asked Baker about @peter_king predicting the @Buccaneers would win 2 games and his answer was very interesting!! They have history! https://t.co/jdMkuhAq73 pic.twitter.com/WfvFvUm8it
— JP Peterson (@FanStreamJP) September 18, 2023
“If you look up Peter’s history of his opinion on me, that’s probably why,” Mayfield said. “So, yeah, he’s alright.”
Bucs QB Baker Mayfield – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
When asked whether King’s prediction helps fuel Baker, Mayfield continued, “I don’t really care what he thinks. He doesn’t play. But we are going to keep it in house. Our guys are motivated. That’s kind of been the narrative the whole time. Low expectations for this team. But inside our locker room we have an extremely high standard. Got to continue to be real.”
While Baker Mayfield shrugged off any extra motivation from the particularly low opinion King had of him and the Bucs season outlook, his answer did acknowledge his awareness of the national consensus surrounding Tampa Bay. Whether or not that narrative actually has an effect on Mayfield and the rest of the Bucs locker room remains to be seen.
But they don’t call it bulletin board material for nothing.
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