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Cleveland

Mayfield officially named Browns starting quarterback

Sports Xchange
25 Sep 2018, 04:21 GMT+10

Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield was named as the starter for the team's Week 4 game against the Oakland Raiders, coach Hue Jackson announced Monday.

Jackson made the announcement after meeting with both Mayfield and fellow quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Jackson said that the 23-year-old Mayfield had a large smile on his face upon hearing the news that he'll make his first career start on Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET) versus the host Raiders (0-3).

"Obviously Baker has worked extremely hard, put himself in position to be the backup and obviously in this game was able to go out and play well," Jackson said. "He nailed it. Did really well. Helped lead the team to victory, which I thought was really important."

Mayfield, who was selected with the top overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, relieved an injured Taylor and helped Cleveland erase a 14-point deficit in Thursday's 21-17 victory over the New York Jets. The win was the first for the Browns (1-1-1) since they defeated the then-San Diego Chargers on Dec. 24, 2016.

The former Heisman Trophy winner completed 17 of 23 passes for 201 yards to outplay New York rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, who was taken two slots behind Mayfield in the draft.

Mayfield led the Browns to a field goal on his first possession to make it a 14-3 deficit at halftime. He guided Cleveland to another field goal in the third quarter before directing two lengthy touchdown drives that were capped by a pair of 1-yard runs from running back Carlos Hyde.

"There was nothing that I saw that he wasn't ready to handle," Jackson said. "He checked off every box for me.

"... This is sooner than when I thought it would happen, because I thought we would play much better earlier on offense and we didn't. There was a stark difference in how we performed when he got in there."

Mayfield will be the Browns' 30th starting quarterback since the franchise was reactivated in Cleveland in 1999.

Taylor, if healthy, will serve as the backup after sustaining his third concussion in the last 13 months during Thursday's win.

Acquired in an offseason trade with the Buffalo Bills, Taylor is completing only 48.8 percent of his passes and owns a passer rating of 63.7.

Taylor was 4 of 14 for 19 yards before leaving late in the first half on Thursday. He is 41 of 84 for 462 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions this season.

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