However, a slow start and tipped passes at the line of scrimmage allowed the Browns to hit a late 58-yard field goal with 8 seconds left to take the Week 1 victory. The Browns were boosted by a roughing the passer penalty on the first play of the game-winning drive.
Mayfield finished 16-for-27 for 235 yards.
“Everybody made this game out to be the Super Bowl,” Mayfield said, according to ESPN’s David Newton. “But despite what everybody is going to make of this, there’s 16 more games. The Super Bowl is not until February.”
“I have to do a better job of finding angles and windows to throw it, and we’ve got to get their hands down,” Mayfield said. “But this team fought. That’s why this is so disappointing.”
The loss dropped Mayfield to 0-4 in season opening games.
“I thought Baker stood in there and took all the bullets and gave the plays that gave us a chance to win,” Panthers coach Matt Rhule said.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of attachment there,” Mayfield said of his former team. “I’m not going to sit here and be a robot and say it doesn’t mean anything. It will.”
“It’s always good to see familiar faces,” Mayfield said. “Emotional? I wouldn’t put too much into that. We didn’t finish, mostly because we didn’t start fast.”