The Cleveland Browns haven’t won a game in quite some time and under head coach Hue Jackson, they have a record of 2-32-1. Over the last few years, the franchise had trouble deciding on a quarterback, exchanging the position 28 times since 1999.
That said, the Thursday night game against the Jets could changed things. After falling behind 14-0 as Tyrod Taylor completed just four of his 14 pass attempts before suffering another concussion, the Browns made the decision to send in rookie quarterback and former Heisman trophy winner Baker Mayfield.
Mayfield threw 23 times, completing 17, and guided his team to a stirring comeback 21-17 win. The win caused pandemonium in Cleveland, including fans scrambling for free beer.
Mayfield didn’t score, but he kept the ball from being turned over against a defense that intercepted veteran Matthew Stafford four times two weeks ago.
Mayfield likely set himself up for a starting role on the Browns, and if he continues to win games, he might be the longest tenured quarterback for the Browns since 1999.
Head coach Hue Jackson, however, is not yet convinced.
When asked after the game whether Jackson believed Mayfield would start the next game, Jackson told ESPN and other news outlets, “tonight’s not the night to get into all of that.” The coach went on to describe how Taylor is in concussion protocol and once he’s back, he will be able to challenge Mayfield for the starting spot.
Jackson’s caution is warranted, it is premature to assess what a rookie quarterback can do based on one performance. Other than college tapes, the Jets had no prior film of Mayfield playing. It will be interesting to see how Mayfield plays against better defenses who are able to study his NFL film.
One thing is clear: Mayfield deserves the opportunity to start for a struggling Browns team. With Hue Jackson’s meager two wins in over two seasons — one being on Thursday night — the Browns owner and fans of the team will be watching closely to see how he handles the teams quarterback situation.
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