Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr. make long-awaited highlight-reel TD connection

Jason Owens
·2-min read

The pressure was on the Cleveland Browns Thursday night in a 35-30 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

And this play was long overdue.

Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. delivered early on the type of connection that was notably missing from 2019’s disastrous 6-10 season.

With the Browns leading, 7-3 in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals, Mayfield rolled out left and uncorked a deep sideline pass on first-and-10 from the Bengals 43-yard line.

Beckham had broken free of Bengals cornerback William Jackson III on a fly route and ran under Mayfield’s pinpoint pass while tumbling into the end zone. Touchdown, Browns.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., right, celebrates with running back Kareem Hunt after Beckham's touchdown during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Finally, a reason for Odell Beckham Jr. to celebrate. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Where was this last year?

It was the kind of highlight-reel play Browns fans anticipated regularly when Cleveland traded for Beckham prior to last season. Instead Beckham caught just four touchdown passes, and his biggest highlight arrived via a short catch and long run for an 89-yard score against the New York Jets.

That play arrived in Week 2. The highlights were sparse after that.

Thursday’s touchdown was Mayfield’s fifth completion in five attempts as the Browns set the tone to bounce back from last week’s 38-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Mayfield finished with 219 yards, a pair of touchdowns and an interception — not the type of performance that’s going to silence the concerns surrounding him. Beckham finished with four catches for 74 yards and that score.

The Browns — and their fans — are hoping for a lot more of what they saw in the second quarter moving forward.

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