After 635 days, the Cleveland Browns finally won after upstaging the New York Jets 21-17 in the NFL, snapping a 19-game winless streak.
Not since December 2016 had the Browns celebrated victory but that all changed on Thursday and all it took was the top overall draft pick, a running back with new motivation and a familiar call from the Philadelphia Eagles' playbook.
Baker Mayfield, who before the last two minutes of the first half was just a spectator, took over and gave new life to Cleveland, who rallied from a 14-0 deficit.
He was helped by Carlos Hyde, who was not just celebrating his 28th birthday but soon the birth of his first child. The two later paired up for a momentum-changing play.
The duo snuck into another team's playbook for a two-point conversion Mayfield later admitted "may or may not have been called the Philly Special."
So, how did the rookie who had yet to have live reps with the first-team feel after the win?
"I feel good," Mayfield said. "We finally put the pieces together a little bit. ... This crowd deserved to see this win at home and that's what I'm most proud of that we put it together for the fans at home."
The Mayfield era has begun
Mayfield made his impromptu NFL debut after starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor was ruled out with a concussion sustained late in the second quarter, and the rookie was immediately put to work.
His first throw, a completion to Jarvis Landry for 14 yards, already outpaced Taylor's performance. The Browns had negative three net passing yards before Mayfield took over with less than two minutes until half. He strung together 11 plays that ended with a field goal for the team's first points.
After the break, Cleveland put up points every quarter highlighted by two 69-plus yard touchdown drives — an impressive feat for someone who had yet to practice with the Browns' starters.
"As corny as it sounds, that's kind of how my whole life has gone," Mayfield said. "I've had the backup role, had to fight through things and always had to be mentality ready and ready to go. I don't get the reps but that doesn't mean I don't have to know what's going on."
He sure knew what was going on when he lined up under center. His entrance showed up every other quarterback who took the field. After three quarters, he had more passing yards than Sam Darnold and Taylor combined — 141 for Mayfield compared to 112 between the two other quarterbacks.
Mayfield went 17-of-23 passing (including three drops) for 201 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Mayfield lit a fire under Darnold
After a scoreless first quarter, Darnold – the third pick in the 2018 Draft – led two touchdown drives to give the Jets an early lead. One was his own doing, and the other was thanks to a blocked punt from New York special teams.
The scoring drives showcased Darnold's ability to quickly get the ball out with a short pass on third and four to extend the first touchdown drive and another dart on third and 11 in the second, but after that he fell flat.
It was not until midway through the fourth quarter with the score tied at 14 points apiece that Darnold came back to life. He was able to move the ball 65 yards to set up Jason Myers with an easy 28-yard field goal attempt to put the Jets back up.
But then Mayfield happened.
Darnold again took over, this time trailing the Browns for the first time. After a clutch fourth-down conversion, he threw a late pick to give the Browns possession with a little more than 1:20 left. The rookie, who was playing in his third game in 11 days, finally tired and finished 15-of-31 passing for 169 yards and two interceptions.
Hyde had more than one reason to celebrate
Before the game, Hyde was rushing straight from the hospital. After the game, according to Mayfield, Hyde was rushing back to the hospital.
It was a meaningful night for the first-year Browns running back, and it was not just because of the baby or his birthday. Hyde played a key role in Cleveland's win, scoring both touchdowns to first tie the game and then put the Browns up for good.
He ended with 23 carries for 98 yards to trample on the Jets' defense, who allowed 323 total yards and is in the running for the best touchdown celebration of the night.
After his first score, he cradled the ball like a baby.
18 de marzo 2019
|Bogut to join Warriors early after Cousins injury|
|Van Dijk: Salah goals will come for Liverpool|
|Roma president hits back at Monchi criticism|
|Aston Villa and Birmingham fined for derby fracas|
|Adrian Peterson returns to Redskins|
|Koeman: Timing of Euro 2020 qualifiers is odd|
|Napoli goalkeeper Ospina given all clear after head injury|
|Captain Morgan signs Leicester extension|
|Tennis Canada coach Labelle says ´sky is the limit´ for Andreescu|
|Pochettino happy at Tottenham but hints at Real Madrid interest|
|´Shocked´ Hudson-Odoi called into England squad|
|Barca talk will not affect underrated Griezmann - Deschamps|
|Overmars extends Ajax contract amid Arsenal links|
|Tiger commits to WGC-Dell Match Play ahead of Masters|
|Rashford: Aguero is Premier League´s most complete striker|
|Ineos reports ´ideal´ for Team Sky, says Wiggins|
|An offer we couldn´t refuse - Giants GM Gettleman breaks silence over Beckham trade|
|Godfather II was better - Monchi defends Sevilla sequel|
|Hall: CSA must avoid exodus of Kolpak youngsters|
|RFL to consider New York rugby league club|
|Bierhoff: Germany not in doomsday scenario|
|Jorginho is playing well - Mancini defends much-maligned Chelsea midfielder|
|I´m retiring from the NFL on top! - Ngata bows out on Kilimanjaro|
|Mancini challenges Balotelli to earn Italy recall|
|Arthur given time to earn new Eels deal|
|Chelsea say player was racially abused during Dynamo Kiev game|
|Quins land Argentina playmaker Landajo|
|F1 2019: What we learned from Australian Grand Prix|
|Tour de France 2020 opening stages provide stiff challenge|
|Mata: Defeats will test Man Utd spirit|
|Wigan ´seeking clarification´ over Edwards´ intentions|
|Barca confirm two-week absence for Suarez|
|Walton defends LeBron after Knicks defeat|
|Ronaldo charged by UEFA after Atletico celebration|
|Ward-Prowse called up by England as Delph, Stones and Loftus-Cheek withdraw|
|Del Potro follows Nadal in missing Miami Open|
|Leeds centre-back Jansson out for three weeks|
|Thiem: Indian Wells triumph feels like grand slam glory|
|River Plate star Quintero suffers ruptured ACL|
|Rahmat and Ihsanullah seal historic Test win for Afghanistan|
|Brewers spoof Mean Girls during spring training|
|Truly a Cinderella story - Andreescu visualised unlikely Indian Wells win|
|Busquets takes pride in majestic Messi|
|Dani Alves, Kanoute and Monchi´s best Sevilla signings|
|Matic backing Solskjaer stay despite United wobble|
|Federer: Thiem has the ´secret´ to achieve greatness on clay|
|76ers top Bucks despite Antetokounmpo´s 52 points|
|MLS Review: Waston creates history on day to remember for FC Cincinnati|
|Tuchel applauds PSG´s mental strength as fans protest during Le Classique|
|Busch secures 200th NASCAR victory after overcoming penalty in California|
|Thiem shocks Federer to clinch first Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells|
|Spalletti: Inter have ´found a striker´ in Lautaro|
|Luckily I didn´t see it or I would´ve thrown myself in too – Gattuso fumes at Kessie-Biglia row|
|Pique not planning another Griezmann documentary amid Barcelona speculation|
|Kessie, Biglia apologise for derby bench row|
|Napoli keeper Ospina kept in hospital after head injury against Udinese|
|Valverde: Betis win an important step for Barcelona|
|Crowd disturbances force abandonment of Panathinaikos-Olympiakos|
|McIlroy eyes Augusta after Players Championship success|
|Suarez sprains ankle as Barcelona beat Betis|
17 de marzo 2019
|Silva lauds Pickford after Chelsea shut out|
|Messi grateful for Betis ovation after breaking Barcelona record|
|Brilliant Andreescu stuns Kerber to win Indian Wells title|
|I need every Manchester City player for run-in - Guardiola|
|Barcelona beat Betis despite surprising possession statistic|
|Paris Saint-Germain 3 Marseille 1: Di Maria produces a Classique performance|
|McIlroy seals Players Championship victory|
|I am happy here – James expects Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to open transfer talks|
|Messi surpasses Xavi to record most Barcelona wins|
|Real Betis 1 Barcelona 4: Record-breaker Messi sends leaders 10 points clear|