Being a Browns fan is not for the faint of heart. Cleveland was in control for most of the game, but allowed Carolina back into the game in the 4th quarter. Cade York sealed the deal with a game winning 58 yard field goal with 8 seconds remaining. The Browns won their first week 1 win since 2004.
Emotions were running high early as the defense was laser focused on former QB Baker Mayfield. No surprise to Browns fans that Baker had 5 batted balls at the line of scrimmage, and 2 fumbled snaps that he was able to recover. Mayfield was also sacked 4 times, 2 of those were courtesy of Myles Garrett. Guess that was his response to Baker Mayfield's text he never responded to.
Jacoby Brissett, filling in for the suspended Deshaun Watson did his job and did not turn the ball over. He got a little help from his friends as Nick Chubb finished with 141 yards rushing, and Kareem Hunt had 70 total yards with 2 touchdowns (1 rushing, 1 receiving). Donovan Peoples-Jones was as steady as they come with 6 receptions for 60 yards on 11 targets, including a big time catch on the final drive to set up the game winning field goal.
Baker Mayfield overcame his early struggles as he took advantage of 2 big time blown coverages by the Browns secondary. Mayfield was able to lead the Panthers back from a 13 point 4th quarter deficit capped off by a 75 yard completion to Robby Anderson. Mayfield followed that up with a 64 yard drive to get the Panthers into field goal range for the go ahead kick. Mayfield finished 16-27 for 235 yards with 1 TD and 1 interception.
By this point as a Browns fan the thought "same old Browns" is coming to mind. Brissett would have none of that. He was cool, calm, and collected as he took the field with close to 1:30 left on the clock and completed a big 3rd down pass to Peoples-Jones, took a blow to the head which resulted in a roughing the passer call, and then a 9 yard completion to Amari Cooper to set up the game winning kick.
Get used to games like this for the first 11 games Browns fans. Brissett is never going to make big time throws or wow anybody. What he is going to do is manage the game and not hurt the team. He came through huge on the final drive when it mattered most. If he got rattled by the moment then that big time field goal by York never happens. Winning is never easy with the Browns, but all that matters is 1-0. They face the New York Jets next Sunday.
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