Pat McAfee defends Baker Mayfield for stealing Vikings defensive signals

Rather than join the lame chorus calling Baker Mayfield a cheater, Pat McAfee praised his football IQ.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages

While attention needs to turn towards Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still riding a high from last week’s win over Minnesota.

It was exactly the type of game fans have been waiting to see for a while.

One of the things that helped the Bucs were the halftime adjustments the team made. That was a bit of a talking point this week after Rachaad White revealed exactly what was talked about in the Bucs locker room.

White said that Mayfield told the team that he thought he had figured out the Vikings defensive signals and to trust him when he said he knew what was coming.

As if the win couldn’t have gotten any sweeter, the fact that Baker showed that sort of football acumen took it over the top. For all the jokes that were made about how the Bucs went from Brady to Baker, he popped the hater right on the chin

Of course, the detractors didn’t take kindly to being proven wrong. A weird narrative tried to get developed during the week that painted Baker as some sort of cheat for figuring out the Vikings signals. Baker joked about it in his midweek press conference and some media members backed him up.

Pat McAfee praises Baker Mayfield for stealing Vikings signals

Rather than joining the chorus of those calling Baker Mayfield out for cheating, McAfee praises the Bucs quarterback's football IQ on his show Wednesday.

"This dude is cerebral. He's picking up signs in the middle of a game and then delivering it with confidence at halftime. That means he had full belief in it," McAfee said. "And then to go and get the win? This is the guy for you down there in Tampa."

McAfee went as far as to call out the narrative that has existed around Baker not only this offseason but his entire career in the NFL.

"That goes against the narrative against Baker Mayfield," McAfee said.

It’s about time someone at the national level truly put some respect on Baker and the Bucs. One would think that after the sort of win the team pulled off in Week 1 that the doubters would start to admit some fault, but that clearly didn’t happen.

Not only was an attempt made to drag Baker, but the Bucs barely moved up from where they were in any of the Week 1 power rankings that were released.

The disrespect — and flat out dismissal — the Bucs have faced isn’t anything new, and it’s going to take more than just one win to change that. The fact of the matter remains, though, that Baker pulled off not only a gutsy win on Sunday but led his team there with the sort of high football IQ that will hopefully continue to help prove the doubters wrong.

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