The Browns put the No. 1 overall draft pick into the game with 1:42 left in the second quarter against the New York Jets after Tyrod Taylor left for the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion. Mayfield then rallied the Browns back from a two-touchdown deficit to a 21-17 comeback win over the Jets -- snapping Cleveland's 19-game winless streak.
Mayfield led four scoring drives and finished the game connecting on 17 of 23 passes for 201 yards. Taylor had a miserable game before his exit, completing only 4 of 14 passes for 19 yards while being sacked four times.
"Dilly Dilly! to the Cleveland fans," Mayfield said while smiling. "It is not the only win that we are going to celebrate. It is a building block for us. We did some good things, but there is still a lot that we can work on. That is the great part about it. We are nowhere near where we want to be, but we are in a good spot to build a foundation and keep going."
"Obviously, I like to watch the tape. Baker did some great things," Jackson said. "We do not play until next Sunday. We have some days. Let's not get into those debates tonight. Obviously, what he did tonight was outstanding for the football team and his teammates and just the way he competed."
Cleveland trailed the Jets, 14-0, when Mayfield entered the game. He completed his first two passes -- a 14-yard pass to Jarvis Landry and a 17-yarder to David Njoku -- to move the Browns downfield. Four plays later, the Browns got on the scoreboard with a 45-yard field goal by Greg Joseph to make it 14-3 Jets at halftime.
On the Browns' next possession, Mayfield connected with Landry on a spectacular 29-yard pass just outside the end zone to set up a 1-yard Carlos Hyde touchdown dive. On the two-point conversion attempt, the Browns went full Philly Special (or is that Baker's Special?) -- with Landry connecting to Mayfield in the end zone after a reverse handoff to tie the game, 14-14.
Mayfield then orchestrated a 15-play, 75-yard drive in the fourth quarter to chew up time before Hyde scored his second touchdown on a 1-yard run.
While Jackson hasn't made a decision about whether Mayfield will start next week, it appears Thursday night's game convinced him Mayfield is ready to see snaps in games that matter.
"He needed the time ... I can't tell you if he would have performed like that Week 1," Jackson said. "I believe this was his coming out party."
Mayfield, for his part, believes it was his Cleveland coming out party -- his on-field exploits are well known in Norman and other corners of the country. He was happy to end Cleveland's winless drought.
"The best part about it was we were here at home," Mayfield said about the win. "You got to feel the energy of the crowd and see how bad they wanted it. We have to play for each other, but at the same time, this city deserves it."