The latter happened, and it came with a bit of stinginess from Mayfield, who tossed four touchdowns and shook hands with Jackson after the game but appeared to resist the embrace Jackson reached for when he patted the back of Mayfield's head. It looked stiff, if not downright awkward. Mayfield's postgame words shed some light on the body language.
"Left Cleveland, goes down to Cincinnati," Mayfield said when asked about his feelings about his former coach. "I don't know. That's just somebody that's in our locker room asking for us to play for him and then goes to a different team we play twice a year. Everybody can have their spin on it, but that's how I feel."
Mayfield, still new to the league but not to the business of both pro and college football (considering his transfer experience), has a valid point. But Jackson isn't the first to make such a move; the Bengals were founded by a man who'd been shown the door by the Browns before retreating to the banks of the Ohio River to plot his revenge (his name was Paul Brown). For Mayfield and his teammates, it's more about the fact Jackson went almost immediately from Cleveland to the team's AFC North rival in Cincinnati, in the same season.
Well, that and the post-firing media tour.
Mayfield and the Browns got their laugh Sunday, though, jumping out to a 28-0 lead in dominant fashion. And the Browns made it clear this game was personal for them. The scoring blitz included an interception on the part of the outspoken Damarious Randall, who did so near the Bengals' sideline and trotted over to Jackson to hand him the interception.