Those hopes have been dashed on numerous occasions over the decades, especially during the team's run in the 1980s when two of the most devastating losses in NFL history, "The Drive" and "The Fumble," occurred in back-to-back years.
Mayfield has breathed life into the league doormat this year, though, and the 23-year-old quarterback didn't allow ghosts of what-are-they-doing past to hamper a 17-16 victory at Broncos Stadium at Mile High—the Browns' first win there since 1990.
Mayfield finished the first half 7-of-18 passing for 105 yards, including an awful decision when the Browns had a chance to enter halftime with a lead.
Based on pre-snap reads, the rookie rehuddled his group, changed the play at the line and realigned running back Duke Johnson before he fired a dart to wide receiver Antonio Callaway.
Red-zone efficiency, creating chunk plays in the passing game and staying calm while defenders collapse the pocket are three primary traits of an elite quarterback.
"People love the Browns and have stuck with them through some bad years," the rookie said during a pregame interview with the NFL Network's Chris Rose (via 92.3 The Fan's Daryl Ruiter ).
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