For the first time in 635 days, the Cleveland Browns found a way to win.
Baker Mayfield showed them how.
The No. 1 overall pick replaced injured starter Tyrod Taylor and sparked the Browns, who got two one-yard touchdown runs from Carlos Hyde and beat the New York Jets 21-17 on Thursday night for their first win since Dec. 24, 2016.
And so ends Cleveland’s 19-game winless streak, the NFL’s second-longest since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
The Browns (1-1-1) trailed 14-0 in the first half before Mayfield came in for Taylor and led four scoring drives while winning an unexpected matchup against Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. Cleveland passed on taking Darnold in the draft and instead chose Mayfield, the Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma.
Mayfield finished 17 for 23 for 201 yards in a little more than a half after coming in after Taylor suffered a concussion.
Darnold had one last chance, but his pass was intercepted by Terrence Mitchell with 11 seconds left.
When the final seconds ticked off the clock, Cleveland fans, who had endured a 0-16 season and waited nearly two years to see their Browns win, erupted in celebration.
This was just one win, and while it was an ending, it also felt like a beginning.