The Baker Mayfield era is officially starting off as a success. Even if the Cleveland Browns lose every game the rest of the season, it’s still better than they’ve done since 2015 when they also won three games.
They don’t intend to lose the rest of their games. The 3-6-1 Browns capped off a strong home win against the Atlanta Falcons on the back of their rookie quarterback. Mayfield finished the game 17-0f-20 with 216 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. His near-flawless performance helped the Browns snap a four-game losing streak and sent them into the bye week with renewed vigor.
It’s plays like this one that have people excited in Cleveland:
Baker Mayfield slinging the damn rock pic.twitter.com/yWvSgEC5S5
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) November 11, 2018
Their chances of making the playoffs are practically non-existent, but hopes for a strong 2019 season are high. They are already further ahead than nearly anyone expected by matching their win totals from the previous three years combined. The team has had 11-consecutive seasons with a losing record, a streak that has them on their seventh head coach.
But Mayfield and fellow rookie Nick Chubb form an offensive core that could lead to winning seasons sooner rather than later. Chubb finished the game with 176 yards on 20 rushes and 33 yards on 3 receptions, scoring a touchdown each way. He showed off blistering speed with this 92-yard run, which broke the Browns’ record.
Nick Chubb with the 92-yard TD run! He’s got 32.50. pic.twitter.com/suupURAMAj
— DraftKings (@DraftKings) November 11, 2018
The 2018 Browns are reminiscent of the 1990 Dallas Cowboys. Rookie RB Emmitt Smith and 2nd-year QB Troy Aikman led a team that was 1-15 the year before to a 7-9 record. The next year, they were in the playoffs. The year after that, they won the Super Bowl.