It has been 635 days since the Cleveland Browns last won a regular season football game. On Thursday night the Browns played the Jets and ended that streak by beating the Jets 21-17. For much of the first two games fans and critics have said that they need to start rookie QB and the first pick the draft, Baker Mayfield. However, I disagreed with that argument because I believed that by him sitting until he was needed, it gave him a chance to learn from the sidelines. The NFL is a lot different than college football and by rushing a QB in to early it could ruin him. Perfect example is Johnny Manziel, had he sat and learned the offense and the speed of the game he may have turned out differently. Another example is Aaron Rodgers; he sat for years behind Brett Favre. Now, I realize that Tyrod Taylor is no Brett Favre; however, Taylor was still performing well enough to put the team in a good spot to win the first two games.
Tyrod Taylor’s first game he went 15-40 for 197 yards a touchdown and an interception and 77 rushing yards on 8 carries against the Steelers, a game that they ended in a tie. Game 2 against the Saints he went 22-30 for 246 yards one touchdown and one interception along with 26 rushing yards on 4 carries. The game ended in a loss but because of missed attempts by the kicker, who was then released the next day. These numbers show that Taylor was not to blame for the 0-1-1 start; rather he should be praised for keeping the Browns in the games. However, on Thursday, Taylor started the game in terrible fashion and it seemed like the clock was ticking for the Baker Mayfield era. Taylor took a hit late in the 2nd quarter and was ruled out for the remainder of the game, and it was at that time Cleveland got a look at the future.
Baker comes in down by 14 points and on his first drive goes 3-4 for 47 yards and gets the Browns in field goal range to begin chipping away at the Jets lead. Baker comes out of the half and picked up right where he left off. The Browns went on to score 18 points in the second half while holding the Jets to only 3 points. The Browns broke the winless streak and their QB of the future finished 17-23 for 201 yards and a receiving touchdown.
The Browns finally won a game but the key is not only that Baker looks the QB of the future for the Browns but the fact that if the Browns had a competent kicker they are sitting at 3-0 and are shocking the world. This team has started to put all the pieces together and is beginning to look like an actual NFL team right now. The Cleveland fans went crazy on Thursday night and from the videos seen of all the fans celebrating in bars and in their homes and how social media exploded some could have believed the Browns just won the Super Bowl. There is a lot to be excited about right now if you are a Browns fan and there is a lot of energy on this team. This being said, to all the NFL fans that have laughed and joked at the Browns expense, hold on because this team might not be the mistake on the lake for much longer.