On Sept. 20, the Cleveland Browns ended an infamous losing streak by winning a game for the first time in 635 days on their home field at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the New York Jets 21-17, giving them their first win since Barack Obama was in office.
After starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor had to come out of the game for concussion protocol, 2018 number one overall pick Baker Mayfield was given his first opportunity to play in a regular season game. Mayfield said he is “just getting started.”
On Sept. 24, the Browns officially named Mayfield their starting quarterback after he completed 17 out of 23 passes for a total of 201 yards in just two quarters.
“There are results when you lay with confidence and believe in yourself,” said Mayfield.
The Browns’ decision to start Mayfield has become a topic of debate, as some football fans believe it is too soon to start a franchise quarterback only four games into their career.
Senior Evan Hemelt said, “He should develop behind a quarterback who has been there for a couple years.”
Jordan Gilbey, a Mt. Hebron alumni and Cleveland Browns fan, said, “It’s Baker time! A lot of rookies coming into a prime time game down by 14 would make mistakes and not play well. Baker wore that uniform like a veteran and brought the Browns to the first of many victories this season.”
Although the question still lingers about whether Mayfield is developed enough to start, it does not stop Browns fans from celebrating the end of the losing streak.
“I had tears of joy,” Gilbey said. “The feeling of being a winning team again felt incredible. This is just the beginning. If Mayfield starts the rest of the season, they will sneak into playoffs. Mark my word.”
Hemelt, who does not have such high expectations for the Browns this season, said, “They’ll get a few more wins, won’t land a spot in the playoffs, and they’ll get crushed by the Ravens.”
Mayfield credits this win to the fans as well. “The best part about it was that we were here at home,” he said. “You have got to feel the energy of the crowd, how badly they wanted it as well. We have got to play for each other but at the same time this city deserves it, too. We have to have that mindset of going to get it no matter what.”
In week four, the Browns travel to Oakland, where they hope to keep their winning streak intact when they face the Raiders who are 0-3. Mayfield is not the only rookie starting in week four. He will be starting alongside other rookie quarterbacks like Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen, making it the first time four or more rookie quarterbacks are starting since 2012.