Baker Mayfield
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Sam Darnold and the New York Jets were defeated by the Baker Mayfield-led Cleveland Browns on Thursday night, 21-17. 

Geoff Magliocchetti

  • New York Jets 17 (1-2)
  • Cleveland Browns 21 (1-1-1)
  • NFL, AFC, Final, Box Score
  • FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

With Baker Mayfield entering late in the first half, the Cleveland Browns finally earned a long-awaited win, the first overall pick of the draft holding off third selection Sam Darnold to the tune of a 21-17 victory at FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday night over the New York Jets.

In perhaps typical Jets-Browns fashion, the game got off to a slow start, as the game opened with a sleep-inducing seven punts, three of which were the endgame of three-and-out drives.

There were sacks on each side to jolt the teams’ respective fans, with Myles Garrett getting to Darnold and Avery Williamson and Steve McLendon sharing a sack on Browns starter Tyrod Taylor.

The Jets would finally break through on the first play of the second quarter as Isaiah Crowell completed a short drive with a seven-yard scoring run to put the Jets up 7-0. New York was set up in prime territory when Jets linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis blocked the last of the aforementioned seven punts.

Crowell wound up scoring on back-to-back drives, as the Jets went 63 yards on 10 plays on their ensuing possession. While Crowell’s two-yard score was marred by an unsportsmanlike penalty for an obscene celebration, it gave the Jets a 14-0 lead to work with.

Mayfield entered the game late in the second quarter, when a Williamson sack sent Taylor to the medical tent, evaluated for a concussion. He began the game on a consistent note, completing three passes to set up a Greg Joseph field goal to make it a 14-3 halftime score. He also got his first NFL sack out of the way, Jordan Jenkins being the lucky recipient.

Mayfield-mania truly broke out in the second half. The Jets were able to keep him off the board after a Robbie Anderson fumble forced and recovered by Denzel Ward set the Browns up deep in Jets territory, limited to another Joseph field goal.

But on his next go at it, Mayfield fully took over, engineering a seven-play, 69-yard drive that concluded in a one-yard rush by Carlos Hyde for six points. In a play reminiscent of the Eagles’ “Philly Special” from last season’s Super Bowl, Mayfield took a pass Jarvis Landry, who set up the Browns with a 29-yard reception on a great catch, to tie the game on the two-point conversion.

The Jets were able to muster up a Jason Myers field goal to retake the lead, but Mayfield firmly introduced himself to the NFL world to the tune of a 15-play, 75-yard triumph, concluding with another one-yard Hyde scoring rush that sent Cleveland into hysterics.

With just over two minutes to work with, Darnold had a chance to steal back the rookie spotlight and almost did so, completing a fourth-down pass to Jermaine Kearse to keep the hope alive. However, his very next pass was intercepted by Joe Schobert.

The Jets defense did hold strong, limiting the Browns to a punt to provide one last chance, one that ended in another Darnold interception, this one going to Terrence Mitchell.

The Jets will now get an extended vacation, next taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 30 (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS).

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