The Cleveland Browns did what was once unthinkable. They won a football game.
After a winless streak lasting 635 days, the Browns staged a comeback Thursday night to beat New York Jets 21-17 in Cleveland. The victory was made all the bit sweeter by an inspirational debut by quarterback Baker Mayfield.
The No. 1 overall pick from this year’s draft took to the field to replace the injured Tyrod Taylor, and his game-winning performance sparked wild celebrations at FirstEnergy Stadium, in the streets of Cleveland and all other the internet.
Celebrated in style
Barack Obama was still president of the United States the last time Cleveland won a game, which was December 24, 2016.
Some fans had taken to wearing paper bags over their heads in embarrassment of their team’s unwanted record – that included becoming the second team in NFL history to go 0-16 in a season – but all that changed on a night which saw an upturn in form for the Browns.
The drink was flowing in bars all over Cleveland following the final whistle. Locked fridges containing free Bud Light were placed all over the city and fans were promised they would be opened when the Browns finally won a game.
Safe to say, it was enjoyed…
‘This city deserves it’
Man of the moment Mayfield completed 17 of 23 passes after coming on in the second quarter with Cleveland trailing 14-0.
He stayed humble following victory, though, and was focused on building on the success.
“It’s not the only win we’re going to celebrate,” Mayfield said. “It’s a building block for us. Any win feels great. It is hard to do. Having success at this level is hard to do. The best part about it was that we were here at home.
“You guys could feel the energy of the crowd and how badly they wanted it, as well. We have to play for each other, but at the same time, this city deserves it.”
It was just Browns coach Hue Jackson’s second win in 35 games and will go someway to easing the pressure on his position.
“Go Browns,” Jackson said when opening his postgame press conference. “Obviously, it has been a long time since we have stood up here as a winner. Our guys fought extremely hard for everything that they got tonight. I think that this is the best team that I have had since I have been here. I truly believe that we are going to win a lot more games. I am ecstatic over the win because this is what I told our guys we could do.”
With the W, Cleveland improves its record on the season to 1-1-1.