Baker Mayfield’s reunion against Browns spoiled after late comeback

Kareem Hunt in action following a fantastic performance on Sunday.

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Kareem Hunt in action following a fantastic performance on Sunday.

Dylan Feltovich, Staff Reporter

Ever since former Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield was traded to the Carolina Panthers, week one was circled on all Browns fan’s calendars.

Mayfield, having to prove he was still worth a first-overall pick, wanted to kick off the season with a win against his former team.

The Browns had other thoughts.

Under the Panthers offensive coordinator, Ben McAdoo, Mayfield ran a simple play scheme that allowed him to get the ball out quickly, something he struggled to do during his time in Cleveland. The Browns defense was able to capitalize on Carolina’s conservative style of play early on, getting multiple three-and-out scenarios.

However, even with the dynamic running back duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, the Browns lacked the firepower on the other side of the ball due to sub-par quarterback play from Jacoby Brissett. 

Nick Chubb running the ball in the game on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

Cleveland broke the scoring drought early in the second quarter after an interception from safety Grant Delpit which led to Brissett marching down the field on a pass interference call and a quick dump-off to Hunt to take the lead.

Hunt would continue his hot start to the season with another touchdown after breaking off a 24-yard run on the Browns’ ensuing drive. The hometown hero would finish the night with 70 total yards and 2 touchdowns.

Mayfield redeemed himself after throwing an interception with a quick drive down field that allowed for running back Christian McCaffery to rush for his first touchdown of the year and cut the lead down to 17-7.

With their backs against the wall, the Panthers quickly fixed their offensive woes from the first half.

Late in the third quarter and early into the fourth, Mayfield turned an 11 play drive into seven points after scrambling into the end zone. The Panthers defense held the Browns which transitioned into a 75-yard touchdown connection between Mayfield and wide receiver Robby Anderson. 

Carolina would add to their lead with a field goal to give them a one-point advantage with a minute left, 24-23.

Even though the odds were against the Browns, Brissett moved the offense into Panther territory. Cleveland was able to validate the drafting of kicker Cade York as the rookie drilled a 58-yard kick to end the Panther’s hot run.

The road win against Carolina was the first opening week victory for the Browns since 2004. Cleveland will square off against the Jets on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 1:00 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium.