Last night, thanks to the spirited play of rookies Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward, the Cleveland Browns won their first game since December 2016, beating the New York Jets 21 to 17 in Cleveland. Mayfield came on in relief of Tyrod Taylor, who had an off game and weathered some boos at halftime, and the excitement was tangible as the first overall pick came onto the field. J.R. Smith even popped that shirt off, an event that only occurs when the situation merits. A “rally possum” was born—and if there’s a more Cleveland concept than “rally possum,” I don’t even want to know about it.
#ClassicComeback: A Cleveland Miracle
Cleveland back? TBD. Today we remember a wild comeback from the history books
Seeing football come alive in Cleveland necessitates a callback to four years ago, when Brian Hoyer led the Browns back from a 26 to 3 deficit against the Titans. The win signified the biggest road comeback ever—even accounting for home comebacks, there’s only two bigger regular season comebacks in NFL history. Hoyer threw three TDs on the day, the culminating strike being a six-yarder to Travis Benjamin with 1:06 left on the game clock.
"I have an EKG scheduled for tomorrow because my heart can't take many more of these,” said Mike Pettine, the Browns’ head coach at the time.
Sure—it was a regular season game, and it ended up being the first Cleveland win on the road in over a year. That team ended up seven to nine, so the week-four tilt didn’t necessarily inspire the Browns to dizzying new heights. Pettine didn't need to overburden his Aetna rep with any further EKG requests.
But it was history nonetheless.