Rookie No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield gave Cleveland just its second win in 38 games on Thursday night, but Browns coach Hue Jackson isn’t ready to anoint him the starter just yet.
Jackson said Friday all players were given the weekend off, and no personnel decisions would be made until at least Monday when the team convenes to prepare for a Week 4 game at Oakland.
“It is impressive what he did last night; there’s no way around that,” Jackson said. “It was a short week, not a lot of practice time, and you would think he took all the reps.”
Mayfield relieved a concussed Tyrod Taylor and rallied the Browns from a 14-point deficit past the visiting New York Jets for a 21-17 win — ending a 19-game winless streak.
Mayfield, in his NFL debut, finished 17 of 23 for 201 yards in a little over one half of work for the Browns (1-1-1), who tallied their first victory since Dec. 24, 2016.
“Baker did some great things, again, we don’t play until next Sunday,” Jackson said from the podium afterward. “We’ve got some days, let’s not get into those debates tonight. What he did tonight was outstanding for the football team and for his teammates and just the way he competed. Again, I have to watch the tape and we’ll go from there.”
Rookie cornerback Denzel Ward, the No. 4 overall pick of the Browns, told the “Dan Patrick Show” on Friday that he expected Mayfield to be the starter in Week 4.
Mayfield entered the game with the Browns down 14-0 and 1:42 remaining in the first half after Taylor was hurt. The rookie completed his first three passes for 47 yards and led the Browns to a field goal for a 14-3 halftime deficit.
After another field goal by new Browns kicker Greg Joseph cut the deficit to eight, Hyde scored from a yard out to make it 14-12 with 47 seconds left in the third quarter. Mayfield caught a pass from wide receiver Jarvis Landry on a variant of the Eagles’ famous “Philly Special” for a two-point conversion to tie it at 14.
“Once Baker got in the game at quarterback, you just saw a different rhythm, which was good, good to see,” said Jackson.
Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, whom many thought the Browns would take No. 1 overall in the April draft, finished 15 of 31 for 169 yards and two picks. He has thrown five interceptions through three games.
Taylor went 4 of 14 for 19 yards, taking three sacks and an intentional-grounding penalty as the Browns punted on their first six possessions. Taylor underthrew wide-open rookie wideout Antonio Callaway for a potential 75-yard touchdown four minutes into the game.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, Taylor was the first QB to throw for fewer than 20 yards on 14-plus attempts in the first half of a game since 2011.
—Field Level Media