CLEVELAND — Baker Mayfield was unlocked from the bench and helped the Browns unlock free Bud Light for their thirsty fans as Cleveland overcame a two-touchdown deficit to defeat the New York Jets 21-17 on Thursday night, the franchise’s first win in 635 days.
The Browns' last win came on Dec. 24, 2016, when they beat the then-San Diego Chargers. They'd gone 0-18-1 in the interim, including the second 0-16 campaign in league history last year.
Mayfield, the top pick of the 2018 NFL draft, replaced concussed starter Tyrod Taylor before halftime — Cleveland was trailing 14-0 — and immediately ignited a stagnant offense in his regular-season debut. Mayfield was sharp and decisive all night, completing 17 of 23 passes for 201 yards. He connected on his first three NFL throws (for 47 yards), getting the Browns in position for a field goal before the half — and showed why the club made the surprising decision to take him No. 1 overall ahead of Jets counterpart Sam Darnold.
Mayfield even showed nifty hands, catching a two-point try from Jarvis Landry on a “Cleveland Special” type play to tie the game in the third quarter.
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