Gary Landers/Associated Press
SNF on NBC @SNFonNBC
After 1,141 days the @Browns are road warriors once again!
#CLEvsCIN #Browns https://t.co/h9KMOkMybL
Baker Mayfield powered the Browns offense with 258 yards and four touchdowns through the air. Cleveland’s defense also forced two turnovers.
Damarious Randall delivered the first turnover when he intercepted an Andy Dalton pass in the second quarter. Randall capped off the play by handing the ball to former Browns head coach Hue Jackson, who recently joined Cincinnati’s staff.
After the game, Jackson approached Mayfield at midfield and the two shook hands.
The Checkdown @thecheckdown
.@bakermayfield shared a word with his former head coach after the @Browns big win 🙌 https://t.co/sjAI3oLC4r
Some couldn’t help but notice how the rookie gave a somewhat chilly reception to his old coach.
Baker Mayfield gave Hue Jackson that “Okay I’ll let you shake my hand but you’re staying as far away as possible from me and we’re getting this over quickly” handshake.
Rich Eisen @richeisen
Baker just handed out the latest Heisman to Hue Jackson. Nice extended arms length handshake.
Skip Bayless @RealSkipBayless
Baker Mayfield accepted Hue Jackson’s handshake after the game … but there was no hug, no warmth, and Baker pulled away quickly.
The result had to feel cathartic for Browns fans.
The Bengals, once the poster team for organizational dysfunction and on-field mediocrity, had won the previous seven head-to-head meetings. Not only did Cleveland beat Cincinnati, but it did so while mercilessly mocking Jackson in the process.
Since returning to the NFL in 1999, the Browns have cycled through numerous false dawns. Each coaching change and front-office reshuffle brought hope the franchise was finally headed in the right direction, only for the same problems to carry over to a new regime.
Now, however, Cleveland finally appears to be on the right track. Mayfield is a true franchise quarterback, and general manager John Dorsey has $81.3 million to spend this offseason to continue building around the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner.
The Browns’ AFC North rivals better have their fun now because Cleveland won’t be the division’s doormat for much longer.