By Anthony Cardone
635 days have passed since the last time we said “Browns” and “win” in the same sentence. The question of “When will the streak of consecutive losses end for this Cleveland franchise?” was a persistent one. Under the lights this past Thursday, the Browns had enough.
Against another long-suf`fering franchise in the New York Jets, the Cleveland Browns finally had a bright spot after almost two years. But it didn’t start off well.
Down 14-0, thanks to two touchdowns from ex-Brown Isaiah Crowell, the Browns had their heads down once again. Tyrod Taylor was having one of the worst games of his career, throwing for just 19 yards in the first half before suffering what seemed to be a concussion late in the second quarter. Finally, it was the moment every Browns fan had been waiting for: the debut of the number one overall pick Baker Mayfield.
The former Heisman Trophy winner came out firing on his first pass and completely switched the momentum in the stadium as the crowd went wild. Mayfield was throwing bullets and down-field passes all over the Jets’ defense. He made everyone see why he was the number one overall pick. Baker played a little more than a half, completing 74 percent of his passes for 201 yards. It was a battle between the top two quarterbacks in the draft with the Jets’ Sam Darnold and Mayfield.
Following a go-ahead Browns touchdown from Carlos Hyde late in the fourth quarter that put the Browns in front 21-17, Darnold and the Jets had one last shot to ruin Mayfield’s debut. Marching down the field, Darnold, on a second and long, threw a pass down the left side line that was intercepted by cornerback Terrance Mitchell. It seemed like one of the biggest moments in Browns’ history. It was like the Browns won the Super Bowl, the way fans were hugging and cheering…just for one win.
The city of Cleveland erupted in celebration, with refrigerators filled with free Bud Lights only to be opened when the Browns finally won. The streets were filled with fans all over the city. The Browns, after the longest losing streak in the Super Bowl era of 19 losses in a row, finally had their moment.
The Browns are now 1-1-1, which would bear out a respectable record if they keep it up going forward. Head coach Hue Jackson plans to move forward with starting Mayfield from here on out. The Browns no longer want to be the laughing stock of this league.
“I’ve just been waiting for my moment,” Mayfield said, eating his cake that the NFL Network team and Browns fans made him. “I’m just getting started.”