The Pittsburgh Steelers are now the only team in the AFC North division yet to win a game this season thanks to the Cleveland Browns beating the New York Jets Thursday night 21-17 at home.
The Browns, who had last won a game in Week 16 of the 2016 regular season, overcame a 14-0 deficit to move to 1-1-1 on the season. They also did so with rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield leading the comeback as he took over for injured starter Tyrod Taylor late in the second quarter. Taylor, who excited the game to be checked for a concussion, had only completed 4 of his 14 total pass attempts for 19 yards up until that point.
Mayfield, this year’s first-overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma, instantly impacted the Thursday night game after entering it as he led the Browns offense on 6 play, 39-yard scoring drive that culminated with a field goal with less than two minutes remaining in the first half. The Browns went into halftime down 14-3 but certainly had momentum on their side.
After failing to score on their opening possession of the second half, Mayfield then led the Browns offense to three scores on the next three drives with two of those culminating in touchdowns. Both Cleveland touchdowns were scored by running back Carlos Hyde and both from a yard out. A two-point conversion pass from wide receiver Jarvis Landry to Mayfield following the first Hyde touchdown evened the game at 14 with 42-seconds left in the third quarter.
While the Jets offense immediately answered that first Browns touchdown drive with a 12 play, 65-yard field goal drive with 6:46 left in the fourth quarter, Mayfield and the Browns offense answered right back with a 15 play, 85-yard touchdown drive that Hyde finished off. That score ended up being the game-winner even though the Jets possessed the football twice more after that.
Mayfield ended the game having completed 17 of his 23 total pass attempts for 201 yards. Hyde led the Browns in rushing with 98 yards on 23 carries while Landry led all Cleveland pass catchers with 8 receptions for 103 yards.
Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, who was selected third overall in this year’s draft out of USC, completed just 15 of his 31 total passes for 169 yards and 2 interceptions in the loss to the Browns. Darnold was also sacked twice Thursday night and both times it was Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett who got him. Garrett, the first-overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, had 3 total tackles Thursday night. Brows defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi led the Cleveland defense in total tackles Thursday night with 8.
For the Jets, wide receiver Quincy Enunwa led his team in receptions with 4 for 57 yards while running back Bilal Powell led New York in rushing with 73 yards on 14 attempts. Fellow Jets running back Isaiah Crowell scored both New York touchdowns Thursday night in the second quarter.
Defensively for the Jets, linebacker Avery Williamson led the team in total tackles with 14. He was also responsible for 1.5 of the 4 total sacks recorded by the Jets defense Thursday night.
The Browns will now have a long break before their fourth game of the 2018 regular season which will be a week from Sunday and on the road against the Oakland Raiders. It won’t be surprising if Mayfield is now the Browns new starting quarterback moving forward.