Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., right, celebrates with running back Kareem Hunt after Beckham's touchdown during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

The Associated Press

Baker Mayfield found Odell Beckham Jr. and maybe some of his missing swagger.

Mayfield threw two touchdown passes, Nick Chubb ran for two scores and 124 yards and the Cleveland Browns gave coach Kevin Stefanski his first NFL victory Thursday night by beating the Cincinnati Bengals 35-30 on the NFL’s 100th birthday.

Mayfield connected with Odell Beckham Jr. o n a 43-yard scoring pass in the first half as the Browns (1-1) rebounded from an atrocious performance last week in Baltimore, where they were roughed up 38-6 by the Ravens and looked mostly inept in Stefanski’s debut.

Story continues below advertisement

“We’re not going to ride the wave,” Stefanski said. “We don’t look behind or look ahead.”

Things went much more smoothly for Mayfield and Cleveland’s offence against the Bengals (0-2) and No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow, who threw three TD passes and showed incredible poise in just his second game.

Burrow’s third TD pass – a 9-yarder to Tyler Boyd with 43 seconds left – pulled the Bengals within five, but the Browns recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.

Mayfield made it a priority to get the ball early to Beckham, who had only three catches for 22 yards in the opener. Beckham finished with four catches for 74 yards.

Mayfield completed 16 of 23 passes for 219 yards with one interception. But he spread the ball to eight different receivers, and the Browns racked up 215 yards rushing.

“You always want to get the ball in playmakers' hands early, so those guys are in it,” Mayfield said. “I thought we made the most of our playmakers' abilities. I’m surrounded by talent. I want to get the ball in their hands.”

Chubb and Kareem Hunt were a potent 1-2 punch Cleveland. Hunt had a TD catch, ran for a score and rushed for 86 yards.

Story continues below advertisement

“They’re two talented backs that compliment each other and push each other,” Stefanski said. “We’re gonna look for ways to get those guys to rock.”

Burrow finished 37 of 61 for 316 yards. He wa s sacked three times, and had an unfortunate moment when he tried to call timeout and had the ball snapped past him. But the reigning Heisman Trophy winner matched Mayfield pass for pass and showed why the Bengals believe he can turn them around.

“The hype is real with Joe,” Mayfield said. “Obviously, that team loves him. They follow him and he leads them.”

Burrow’s attempts were the second-most in history for a rookie. Only Carolina’s Chris Weinke (63) threw more in a game as a rookie.

“Losing isn’t very fun,” said Burrow, who led LSU to a national title last season. “This might be the only time I’ve lost two games in a row. It doesn’t feel very good. … Losing is unacceptable to me.”

Fittingly, the matchup between Ohio’s teams came as the NFL officially turned a century old. It was on Sept. 17, 1920, when an agreement during a meeting in Canton laid the groundwork for what became a multi-billion dollar business and America’s most popular sport.

Story continues below advertisement

There were 6,000 fans inside 68,000-seat FirstEnergy Stadium for Cleveland’s home opener after the Browns were granted a variance by the state of Ohio to have a gathering larger COVID-19 regulations allow.

Fans stayed socially distanced, masked for the most part and brought needed energy after both teams played in empty stadiums in Baltimore and Cincinnati a week ago. Some of the loudest cheers came after Beckham’s TD.

Mayfield’s scoring strike to Beckham in the second quarter was the kind of play the Browns envisioned the pair making more often.

After faking a hand-off, Mayfield rolled left to buy time before lofting a perfect throw down the sideline to Beckham, who beat Bengals cornerback William Jackson III to give the Browns a 14-3 lead.

Burrow kept the Bengals in it with a 23-yard TD to C.J. Uzomah in the second quarter, but Cincinnati’s defence couldn’t slow down the Browns and Mayfield tossed a 6-yard TD pass to a wide-open Hunt gave Cleveland a 21-10 lead.

The Browns pushed it to 28-13 in the third quarter on Chubb’s second TD run, which came after Myles Garrett stripped Burrow near the goal-line and Cleveland recovered.

Story continues below advertisement

100 CANDLES

The NFL traces its beginnings to a meeting in Canton, Ohio on Sept. 17, 1920. Commissioner Roger Goodell offered a toast to the league’s big birthday.

“To the more than 25,000 players who’ve ever played in this league: Your talent and tenacity are forever etched in our memories,” he said. “To the players of today: From the superstars adding to their legacies, to the dynamic young players blazing new trails – you are the backbone of the NFL. To the most loyal and passionate fans anywhere: The NFL would be nothing without you. ”

STREAK STOPPED

Due to the coronavirus, Bengals owner and president Mike Brown didn’t travel and missed his first regular-season game since 1968.

The 85-year-old Brown told the team’s website that not going was “wrenching.”

Brown had attended 824 consecutive games. The only one he had missed previously was in 1991, when he skipped a pre-season game to be with his dying father, coaching great Paul Brown.

INJURIES:

Bengals: Uzomah was carted off with a right Achilles tendon injury after making a catch in the fourth.

Story continues below advertisement

Browns: DE Adrian Clayborn went out with a hip in injury in the second quarter. He sacked Burrow before going out.

UP NEXT

Bengals: Visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 27.

Browns: Host the Washington Football Team on Sept. 27. Cleveland leads the series 33-12-1.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies