The Cleveland Browns organization has new life now that Baker Mayfield has been allowed to sling passes from under center, and he dazzled the crowd with a lovely reception for a two-point conversion against the New York Jets.
Baker Mayfield was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft for a reason, and the Cleveland Browns are finally getting a taste of what this man can do for their franchise over the next several years. After Tyrod Taylor exited the Browns Thursday Night Football game against Sam Darnold and the New York Jets with a possible concussion, Mayfield immediately made an impact.
On Mayfield’s first drive as an NFL quarterback in the regular season, he led the Browns to three points before the second half, hitting Jarvis Landry with a couple of big-time passes. Mayfield looked in command of the offense, and he was certainly as accurate as advertised.
But Mayfield saved his most exciting moments for the Browns touchdown drive, and it was his reception on a two-point conversion that tied the game up at 14 heading into the fourth quarter.
This touchdown score had shades of Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles, and there’s something just so satisfying about watching a lefty non-QB toss a touchdown to a rookie quarterback. It becomes eminently more satisfying, too, when you consider that this is the Browns we’re talking about here.
“The Baker Special”? I definitely like the sound of that, and I wouldn’t mind it if Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley were to dial up that play again.
Anyway, after that game-tying two-point conversion, which was pure madness and occurred after a penalty negated a failed two-point conversion fumble from Mayfield, the Browns fans in the stadium went from “alive” to “expectant”. That’s the power of a franchise QB.
Mayfield was sitting at an 11-of-15 passing line with 141 yards, averaging 9.4 yards per pass attempt. Several of his passes were absolute dimes, including a few especially pretty tosses to star receiver Landry (five receptions, 87 yards).
Furthermore, after Taylor took three sacks and failed to complete anywhere near 50% of his passes, Mayfield has been both accurate and able to avoid sacks from a hungry Jets front seven. He was magnificent since entering the game, and you could just feel the vibe around the Browns change when he started running the no-huddle offense with aplomb.
That two-point conversion following Carlos Hyde’s rushing touchdown? Now that was a special way to cap Mayfield’s first touchdown drive in the NFL.