Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns can do more than run the ball and the longest active shortage without making the playoffs in the NFL is about to end in 18 seasons.
However, they will need to finish what they start a little better.
Mayfield threw four touchdown passes in the first half and the Browns beat the Tennessee Titans 41-35 on Sunday.
As both teams seek to carve out a playoff spot in the American Association, the Browns raised their record to 9-3 for the third time since returning to the NFL in 1999.
“I think people know we’re a good team when we play well. That’s what we did today, ”said Browns running back Nick Chubb.
The Titans (8-4) started the day at the top of the American South Section and ended their afternoon tied with the Indianapolis Colts, who beat the Houston Texans. The Tennessee team collapsed after a poor placement of the ball in the fourth down and a first fumble lost this season by Derrick Henry.
“It snowballed after that,” said Titans head coach Mike Vrabel.
Mayfield made sure the Browns didn’t need the best rushing offense in the NFL and the Ohio squad had their best half in history, taking a 38-7 lead after 30 minutes of play.
The Titans made things interesting in the fourth quarter.
Kenny Vaccaro recovered a fumble from Mayfield and ran 53 yards with 48 seconds remaining. Ryan Tannehill joined Cam Batson for an eight-yard touchdown, but Andy Janovich closed the books by catching the ball on a short kick.
The Browns posted a fourth straight win, their longest streak since 2009. Mayfield has amassed 334 yards, a high for him this season.
“Obviously, if I don’t drop the ball, the game is less close. Or it wouldn’t have been as much as expected, ”Mayfield said.
Mayfield became the first Browns quarterback to throw four touchdown passes in the first half since Otto Graham in 1951. Mayfield also threw four touchdown passes earlier this season, but in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jarvis Landry, tackle Kendall Lamm, who became the first Browns lineman to catch a touchdown pass since 2001, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Rashard Higgins scored a major on reception.
Chubb added a one-yard rushing touchdown before the half.
“Baker was on fire,” Chubb said. He’s the guy I know. He’s the guy the Cleveland Browns know. He had a very good game and he guided us to victory. ”
The Titans opened the second half with two touchdowns in the first six minutes. Tannehill threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to MyCole Pruitt. The halfback then recovered a fumble from teammate AJ Brown and crossed the goal line to close the gap to 38-21.
Titans wide receiver Corey Davis set career highs with 11 catches for 182 yards. He got a major.