CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns’ Thursday Night Football victory over the New York Jets was selected as the Best Moment at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards ceremony.
The Browns were presented with the honor at the 19th Greater Cleveland Sports Awards dinner at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel Grand Ballroom Wednesday night.
After 18 losses and one tie since their Christmas Eve victory over the San Diego Chargers in the second-to-last week of the 2016 regular season, the Browns fought their way to a 21-17 come-from-behind victory over the Jets in front of the home fans at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Down by a 14-0 count early in the second quarter, the Browns scored 21 of the game’s final 24 points to close out their first September win since a 28-14 decision over the Tennessee Titans on September 20, 2015.
With quarterback Tyrod Taylor suffering a concussion in the first half, rookie Baker Mayfield was pressed into service, but he responded to the challenge and completed 17 of his 23 throws for 201 yards, and more importantly, engineered four scoring drives to complete the comeback.
Running back Carlos Hyde scored two touchdowns and totaled 98 yards on 23 carries, while wide receiver Jarvis Landry caught eight passes for 103 yards in the win.
Following the win, Bud Light opened “Victory Fridges” across Cleveland and provided free beer to revelers looking to celebrate a victory nearly two years in the making.
The victory over the Jets was a sign of things to come for the Browns.
Time and again, the 2018 Browns proved the words “same old” no longer apply, and the players added another broken streak to the list of reasons why this team was different, as in Week 15, they snapped an 11-game skid against the Denver Broncos that dated back to December 8, 1991.
Then, the following week, the Browns completed their first sweep of an AFC North Division foe since 2002 with a 26-18 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium in the 2018 home finale.
In addition to the 17-16 road win over the Broncos and sweep of the Bengals, the Browns broke a 17-game losing slide, a 19-game winless skid and NFL-record 25 consecutive road setbacks in 2018. Also, the Browns broke streaks for the most consecutive Sunday losses (36) and an 18-game winless slide within the AFC North Division.
Not bad for a team in a state of flux for much of the 2018 season.
At 2-5-1 after a 33-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 28 and in the middle of an unprecedented midseason coaching staff upheaval, the 2018 Cleveland Browns looked to be anything but a team capable of the greatest year-to-year turnaround in franchise history.
But a 5-3 record over the last nine weeks and three-game winning streak have secured the Browns’ greatest-ever turnaround, as they were plus-7.5 in victories over last year’s winless campaign.