By Ethan O’Malley

Elm Staff Writer

Last Thursday night the Cleveland Browns took on the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. Cleveland, having gone winless in their past 19 games, were actually favorites going into Thursday’s game. But true to form, the Browns started slow and found themselves in a 14-0 hole just half way into the second quarter.

Starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor had started the game 4 for 14 passing for a grand total of 19 measly yards. Taylor certainly wasn’t on his A-game. With 1:23 remaining in the second quarter Browns Head Coach, Hue Jackson, sent Quarterback Baker Mayfield on to the field with the first team offense. Mayfield connected with Jarvis Landry for a 14-yard completion on his first snap and ultimately lead the Browns to their first score. Mayfield went 3 for 4 on the drive and racked up 47 yards. This set up a successful field goal attempt by Kicker Greg Joseph.

In the second half, Mayfield lead a 17-point rally, passing for another 154 yards and completing 14 of his 19 passing attempts. This impressive debut was enough to secure a victory for Cleveland and to secure free Bud Light for the people of “The Land.”

Are the Browns the real deal? It would seem so. Mayfield, Myles Garrett, Landry and company are bona fide studs. Cleveland’s biggest challenge was going to be capturing their first win. Now that they have overcome the powerful wave of losing, their talent can flourish and snowball to success.

Baker Mayfield, the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, has the talent, competitiveness, and winning edge to turn the franchise around. Twice a walk-on in college, Mayfield has done nothing but prove his doubters wrong. Baker will prove them wrong again with the Browns. Over the weekend it was announced that he will be starting in Week 4 against the Raiders in Oakland.

This will be his first start and the beginning of a new era in Cleveland. While the Browns may not make the playoffs this year, the tide is turning in their favor. By next year we may be talking about the Cleveland Browns as the class of a loaded AFC North.

For Cleveland fans, there is hope; the losing streak has been snapped, and the playoff drought and playoff winless streaks are up next. The 635 days of suffering between their last two wins (before Thursday’s win they hadn’t won since Barack Obama was President) pales in comparison with the 20 years since their last playoff victory.

No more ‘next year’ rhetoric in Cleveland. Their messiah has arrived and he will carry them to the promised land. Baker Mayfield, the personification of swagger, will lead his Browns to a winning record and maybe, just maybe, a playoff spot.

The Elm

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