Won, won and won! Browns beat Jets for first win since 2016

The Standard Journal - - NATIONAL SPORTS - By Tom Withers AP Sports Writer

CLEVE­LAND — For the first time in 635 days, the Cleve­land Browns won. Baker May­field showed them how. The No. 1 over­all pick re­placed in­jured starter Ty­rod Tay­lor and sparked the Browns, who got two 1-yard touch­down runs from Car­los Hyde and beat the New York Jets 21-17 last Thurs­day night for their first win since Dec. 24, 2016.

“I’ve just been wait­ing for my mo­ment,” May­field said. “I’m just get­ting started.”

And so ends Cleve­land’s 19-game win­less streak, the NFL’s sec­ond­longest since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

The Browns (1-1-1) trailed 14-0 in the first half be­fore May­field came in for Tay­lor and led four scor­ing drives while win­ning an un­ex­pected matchup against Jets rookie quar­ter­back Sam Darnold. Cleve­land passed on tak­ing Darnold in the draft and in­stead chose May­field, the Heis­man Tro­phy win­ner from Ok­la­homa.

May­field fin­ished 17 of 23 for 201 yards in a lit­tle more than a half af­ter com­ing in af­ter Tay­lor suf­fered a con­cus­sion.

Darnold had one last chance, but was in­ter­cepted by Ter­rence Mitchell with 11 sec­onds left.

When the fi­nal sec­onds ticked off the clock, Cleve­land fans, who had en­dured a 0-16 sea­son and waited nearly two years to see their Browns win, erupted in cel­e­bra­tion.

Re­frig­er­a­tors around the city stocked with Bud Lights were fi­nally un­locked, and there fig­ured to be more than a few bev­er­ages con­sumed in the hours ahead.

This was just one win, and while it was an end­ing, it also felt like a be­gin­ning — be­cause of May­field.

“Dilly, dilly to the Cleve­land fans,” May­field said, us­ing the beer’s com­mer­cial slo­gan. “It’s not the only win we’re go­ing to cel­e­brate.”

Isa­iah Crow­ell had two touch­down runs for the Jets (1-2), who seemed in con­trol when they took a 14-0 lead and knocked Tay­lor from the game.

Newly signed Browns kicker Greg Joseph made field goals of 45 and 27 yards af­ter be­ing signed just three days ago.

Browns coach Hue Jack­son got just his se­cond win in 35 games since be­ing hired by own­ers Dee and Jimmy Haslam, and this win will ease some of the pres­sure he’s been feel­ing to get Cleve­land turned around. Jack­son could also be faced with a dif­fi­cult choice — ei­ther stick with May­field or go back to Tay­lor when he’s healthy.

The de­ci­sion might not be as tough now.

Jack­son wouldn’t com­mit to stay­ing with May­field, but re­ferred to the per­for­mance as “his com­ing out party” sev­eral times.

May­field made his NFL de­but with 1:42 left in the se­cond quar­ter, re­plac­ing an in­jured Tay­lor af­ter Cleve­land’s starter was sacked for the third time. Tay­lor strug­gled get­ting to his feet af­ter be­ing dragged down by line­backer Avery Wil­liamson, but he had ab­sorbed sev­eral hard blows be­fore that — and had been in­ef­fec­tive.

With Cleve­land’s crowd roar­ing, May­field com­pleted a 14-yard pass to Jarvis Landry on his first pass as a pro and then found tight end David Njoku for 17 yards. May­field drove Cleve­land into field-goal po­si­tion and Joseph, who signed with the team on Mon­day fol­low­ing a try­out, drilled a low line drive to pull the Browns within 14-3.

Cleve­land’s plan was to have May­field watch and learn this sea­son.

Tay­lor’s in­jury may change ev­ery­thing.

For Darnold, a promis­ing start ended with his se­cond loss in three games. He com­pleted 15 of 31 passes for 169 yards, but threw two picks late in the fourth as he tried to rally the Jets.

“I feel like I’ve got to play bet­ter and make bet­ter reads,” Darnold said. “I need to be more de­ci­sive. We’ve got to make them pay and put the ball in our play­mak­ers’ hands.”

Hyde’s 1-yard TD run pulled the Browns within 14-12 and Cleve­land tied it with a trick 2-point play .

May­field shifted to the left and the ball was snapped di­rectly to run­ning back Duke John­son, who ran right and gave the ball to Landry on a re­verse. Landry then lofted a pass into the end zone to May­field, whose con­ver­sion tied it and sent Cleve­land fans into a frenzy.

Crow­ell scored his se­cond TD with 7:54 left in the se­cond quar­ter, and was flagged for ex­ces­sive cel­e­brat­ing when he squat­ted and wiped the ball on his back­side be­fore fling­ing it into the crowd.

Crow­ell’s un­touched 7-yard run TD run came five plays af­ter Jets line­backer Kevin Pierre-Louis got a hand on Brit­ton Colquitt’s at­tempted punt and New York took over at Cleve­land’s 28.

On the first play of the se­cond quar­ter, Crow­ell took an in­side hand­off and raced into the end zone be­fore firing the ball into the stands in cel­e­bra­tion. Crow­ell spent four sea­sons with the Browns be­fore sign­ing a three-year, $12 mil­lion free agent con­tract with New York as a free agent in March.

/ AP-Ron Sch­wane

Browns quar­ter­back Baker May­field runs off the field af­ter the Browns de­feated the New York Jets 21-17 in Thurs­day’s game in Cleve­land.

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