Baker Mayfield Leads Browns to First Win in 635 Days, Becomes Twitter's New Idol

Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates after a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 20 in Cleveland, Ohio. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The drought is over. The Cleveland Browns have won a game of football after 635 days. The fact they did so by erasing a 14-point deficit against the New York Jets made it even more special for their long-suffering fans.

It was a great night for Cleveland and an even greater night for Baker Mayfield, who was instrumental in getting the Browns over the line in his first NFL appearance. The number one overall pick came onto the field late in the first half to replace the injured Tyrod Taylor, who had completed four of his 14 passes for a meagre 19 yards.

With the Jets leading 14-0 late in the second quarter, Mayfield quickly got in the groove, leading the Browns down the field for a field goal on his first drive and then adding another field goal in the third quarter.

In the final two quarters he inspired two scoring drives of 69 and 75 yards respectively, the latter ending with Carlos Hyde's touchdown with just over two minutes left.

During his time on the pitch, Mayfield completed 17 of his 23 attempted passes for 201 yards and his performance sparked wild reactions all over social media, where everyone got a bit carried away. With LeBron James now in Los Angeles, Cleveland appears to have found a new sporting hero.

Mayfield's picture was superimposed on the wall of the Quicken Loans Arena where LeBron's giant portrait once stood, while NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin openly revealed his man crush for the Browns' quarterback.

Baker made us all witnesses.

— ESPN (@espn) September 21, 2018

Steve Smith brought his legendary trash talk to the booth and Michael Irvin looked ready to throw hands 😅

(via @thecheckdown)

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 14, 2018

The general feeling was that, at long last, they Browns might have finally found the man to build a winning team around. Others suggested Mayfield's debut was the best ever seen and not only within NFL circles.

Baker Mayfield just had the best debut I’ve ever seen. And yes, I’m including the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Wow. #ThursdayNightFootball #BrownsJets #Browns

— Bryan Behar (@bryanbehar) September 21, 2018

During the game, Mayfield also had a taste of the end zone as the Browns ran a play on a two-point conversion which allowed them to tie the game at 14-14.

Running back Duke Johnson received the snap, before pitching it to Jarvis Landry, who successfully found Mayfield in the end zone. The move was very similar to the Philly Special the Eagles ran for Nick Foles in the Super Bowl in February, although that led to a touchdown rather than a two-point conversion.

The Baker Special! 😱😱😱#Browns #NYJvsCLE

📺: @nflnetwork

— NFL (@NFL) September 21, 2018

Despite all the excitement surrounding his performance and the Browns' first win in almost two years, the former Oklahoma student was as calm as a veteran.

"Don't overthink it," he told reporters when explaining his approach. "Live in the moment. It is that time. I have to command the offense. I have to command the team. I have to bring a spark and give us a chance to win."

Baker Mayfield is at the podium

— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 21, 2018

As if Mayfield's performance wasn't eye-catching enough, the number one overall pick then proceeded to cut a cake while being interviewed live on national television. Predictably, he did so with consummate ease.

Baker Mayfield cutting cake on national TV after the Browns first win in two years. This league is freaking wild.

— Zach Dean (@ZachDeanDBNJ) September 21, 2018

The Baker Mayfield hype train has left the station, this could be a spectacular ride.

Editor's pick

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts