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Cleveland Browns to wait to announce starting QB for Week 4

ESPN.com | Updated: 2018-09-22 04:00:23

Hue Jackson will wait until Monday to announce his starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns next game against the Oakland Raiders.

But it would be surprising if it were not Baker Mayfield.

Tyrod Taylor, who has had three concussions in the last 13 months, remains in concussion protocol after being injured Thursday night against the Jets. Mayfield, who replaced Taylor, was sharp and accurate in guiding the Browns to their first win since Dec. 24, 2016.

Jackson has given the players the weekend off and he does not want to announce his starter without first talking to the players, which will happen Monday.

"I think you guys all feel good about where things are headed," Jackson said Friday after the Browns reached .500 for the first time since the 2014 season. "Let's just wait and see and go from there."

Mayfield played the final two minutes of the second quarter and the second half, and completed 17-of-23 for 201 yards. His Total QBR of 95.4 was the highest in a game for anyone who did not throw a touchdown pass (minimum 20 plays) in the last five seasons, according to ESPN Stats and Information. It also was the best Total QBR for a Browns quarterback since Derek Anderson against Miami in 2007.

"It was as good as I thought live," Jackson said. "He made some tremendous throws. Obviously was able to move the team. Played with a rhythm. Got the ball in the playmakers hands and gave them some chances to make plays."

Mayfield did it without taking practice reps with the starters and mainly running scout team. His only practice time running the Browns system and plays came when Jackson set up extra work for him, but with the backups and not the starters.

"It is impressive what he did last night; there's no way around that," Jackson said. "It was a short week, not a lot of practice time and you would think he took all the reps."

Jackson couldn't even pick a favorite throw.

"Too many to talk about," he said.

The comeback marked only the second time since 2008 the Brown were down by 14 and won; the other was Brian Hoyer's comeback from down 28-3 in Tennessee in 2014. According to ESPN Stats and Information, the Browns had been 1-72-1 in those games before Thursday night.

Clearly, the feeling of dread that started to settle in during the first half was earned. But it all changed when Mayfield entered and immediately started throwing darts.

The Browns next two games are at winless Oakland and at home against Baltimore (1-1). The team that couldn't win a game in 2017 now can dare to think about winning back to back, something it has not done in 59 games -- since the 2014 season.

The last quarterback to win a game as the starter for the Browns was Robert Griffin III. He now plays for the Ravens, but that didn't stop him from tweeting congratulations to his former team.

For Jackson, the win means the Browns have the win he has long wanted.

"We're not looking for breaks," Jackson said. "We need breakthroughs. I think last night definitely was a breakthrough."

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