The Cleveland Browns came into Thursday night’s game against the New York Jets as three-point favorites, a rarity for a team that hasn’t won a football game since Dec. 24, 2016.
Through most of two quarters, that looked like a mistake, as the same old Browns arrived on the field in Cleveland, falling behind 14-0 midway through the second quarter with little-to-no offensive movement. Tyrod Taylor was, once again, struggling, as he was 4-for-14 for 19 yards before getting knocked out with a concussion late in the second quarter.
At that point, Cleveland was forced to turn things over to the No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield, who gave the Browns a noticeable spark the moment he came into the game. Mayfield led the Browns to a field goal on his first drive, their first points of the game, firing a few darts and creating a rare buzz as the teams went to halftime with New York up 14-3.
In the second half, Mayfield took some time to get into a full rhythm, but once he did, the Browns offense looked like a real, live NFL offense, something we haven’t seen in Cleveland in years. While much of his success came from inside the pocket, he showed off his incredible play-making ability on the run a few times, most notably on this scramble and pass to Duke Johnson Jr. for a first down.