EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J. (AP/WJW) — Baker Mayfield drove in two 95-yard touchdown passes and the Cleveland Browns moved closer to their 17-year playoff drought with a 20-6 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday night.
Mayfield was sharp all night and helped the Browns (10-4) recover from a 47-42 loss to Baltimore last Monday night. The Cleveland quarterback has been terrific lately, and he was more of the same in that area when he finished 27 of 32 for 297 yards with scoring passes to Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper.
“It’s hard to get one win a week, we understand that, our goal will stay there forever,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said, discussing the 10-4 record. “Proud of the guys as they fought tonight, but we have to go out next week and do it. It’s just the nature of this Animal.”
“It’s good, I haven’t done it since I’ve been here,“ Myles Garrett said of 10-4.”It’s a feat I’m proud of. That’s something we need to keep doing. I have to finish this year and I have to run 1: 0 every week. We need to make it the first year of many.”
Nick Chubb had a 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter, which put him out of reach of the lazy Giants, making the Browns the first team this season to have two 95-yard TD passes in a game.
The win moved the Browns closer to their first playoff spot since 2002, the NFL’s longest drought. They also hit their highest profit amount (10-6 in 2007) since their 1999 expansion revival.
Cleveland also dealt a blow to the Giants ‘ playoff hopes (5-9), who were without injured quarterback Daniel Jones. Colt McCoy, who started 21 games for the Browns in 2010-13, couldn’t do much against his former team.
Tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens, who was fired after last season as Cleveland’s head coach, imposed the offense with coordinator Jason Garrett after testing positive for coronavirus. New York was aggressive early on, but scored only six points against a defense that has conceded 80 points in the past two games.
McCoy was 19 of 31 for 221 yards for the Giants, who are tied with Dallas one game behind Washington for first place in the NFC East.
New York’s inaugural run stopped at the 8 after McCoy’s throw on Evan Engram in the end zone was incomplete. The Giants pulled out the field goal unit, but quickly moved to a fake — with goalie Riley Dixon throwing high and incomplete to center Nick Gates and flip the ball to downs.
It could have worked too: kicker Graham Gano was wide open in the end zone.
The Browns also went down to fourth in their first round, but they couldn’t get to the scoreboard. On the Giants ‘ fourth-and-2 43, Mayfield’s pass was knocked down by Dexter Lawrence at the line.
New York decided against every turn on the fourth down on its next possession as Gano threw a 37-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
The Browns came back straight away with a scoring drive limited by Mayfield’s 2-yard pass to a wide-open Hooper in the back zone early in the second quarter.
New York had a chance to go top, was fourth and 1 of the 5, and Wayne Gallman was stuffed without a win. Cleveland took full advantage, with Mayfield leading the Browns on the first 95-yard drive, limited by a 2-yard pass on a jumping Landry with 21 seconds left at halftime.
Landry flashed a ” 1 ” and “3”at the back of the end zone tribute to his close friend and teammate Odell Beckham Jr.to pay off, the former Giants catcher, who suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this year with Cleveland. Landry, who was then linked with cornerback Isaac Yiadom, was called upon to mock. That pushed the Browns back 15 yards on the extra point and Cody Parkey hit the right right when Cleveland went into the locker room 13-3.
The Browns put him left on Chubb’s 1-yard TD with 12: 53 left. Chubb had a 6-yard TD that was erased by a clipping call to Jack Conklin, but returned to the end zone – and this one counted-a few plays later to capture Cleveland’s second 95-yard TD.
“We’re not ready yet,” Mayfield said of the season.
Browns: RG Chris Hubbard injured his knee in Cleveland’s second offensive game after starting in place of injured Wyatt Teller. He didn’t come back. … DT Sheldon Richardson also did not return after injuring his neck in the third quarter.
Browns: return to the Meadowlands next Sunday to face the 1-13 New York Jets, who celebrated their first win by beating the Los Angeles Rams.