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Baker Mayfield's accuracy, arm strength continues to impress after near spotless effort vs. Panthers

Gregg Williams heard it before any of us saw it. 

As Williams watched Baker Mayfield warm up before Sunday's win over Carolina, Williams said the ball made the 'ssst' sound that it only makes when being thrown by the great ones.

"You can hear how tight the ball was coming out of his hand," Williams said. "It was bringing a smile to my face when I was saw him warm up."

Then Mayfield went out and played like an elite quarterback, completing 18-of-22 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown. That stat line doesn't do his performance justice, though. 

Mayfield wasted no time showcasing his exceptional arm talent, hitting Breshad Perriman mid-stride for 66 yards on the first play from scrimmage. Later in the first half, he placed his pass perfectly between two defenders on his 51-yard touchdown to Jarvis Landry. The throw went viral within minutes. 

Of Mayfield's four incompletions, one was dropped by Rashard Higgins and Mayfield threw another away. Another hit David Njoku in the hands but wasn't officially ruled a drop. 

Mayfield connected with Browns receivers on the rest of his throws, often squeezing tight spirals through minuscule windows, which may have turned the heads of a few Carolina defensive backs, but it's becoming the norm around Berea and FirstEnergy Stadium. 

"In practices, we have seen longer throws and we have seen even more accurate throws that other people have not seen yet," Williams said. "So not surprised at all because we have seen it in practice."

Clearly, we haven't seen the full breadth of Mayfield's talents, but the glimpses he's shown look worthy of franchise quarterback status. That includes Sunday's dissection of the Panthers secondary, where no matter how closely Carolina covered Browns receivers, Mayfield proved it wasn't close enough. 

"The really good quarterbacks throw their receivers open in tight coverage, and they have to be able to hit the very small window," Williams said. "I think you are seeing some of that with Baker right now."