The legend of Cade York grows.
York, a rookie coming out of LSU with a big leg, made it big with a 58-yard field goal that led the Browns to a 26-24 victory over former quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
This is important in two ways. First, York’s kick gave the Browns their first Game 1 win in…a long time. Second, York can write the first chapter in the book on who will ever make the Browns forget their last good kicker, Phil Dawson.
The Browns unleashed a relentless pass rush on Mayfield, including two sacks by Myles Garrett, and showed a willingness to use two-headed monsters Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt simultaneously in the backfield.
Cleveland Browns:“If we get to 40, he’ll handle it”: Cade York calls the game-winner
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Chubb responded with 144 yards rushing, and Hunt was effective as both a runner and passer, scoring touchdowns both on the ground and through the air.
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett had an uneven game, to be kind, but he walked away with a win in his first start with the Browns and, in the NFL, that’s the only stat that matters. Can the Browns make it 2-0 with a win in their opener against the New York Jets?
Here’s how the Browns’ staff expects Game 2 to play out:
Chris Easterling (1-0)
Score: Browns 24, Jets 10
Comment: Nostalgia for the 1990s is high, which makes it the perfect time to go back to 1993, when the Browns last started 2-0. The defense will stifle the Jets, who can’t stifle the Browns’ running game. Everything is set up to help the Browns get off to a fast start.
By the numbers:snap counts Browns-Panthers: Ronnie Harrison Jr., Jesse James and Michael Dunn make three
Steve Doerschuk (0-1)
Score: Browns 27, Jets 17
Comment: I wonder if I’ve ever seen a game in which a team threw 59 times, like Joe Flacco did against Baltimore, and only scored nine points. I don’t remember any. I’m trying to think of a house opener that was more gift-wrapped than this one. I can not.
Marla Ridenour:‘A sight to behold’: Browns’ Nick Chubb on his best tackles in first win
Marla Ridenour (1-0)
Score: Browns 23, Jets 17
Comment: Jacoby Brissett may have to go through more to win this week, but Amari Cooper, David Njoku, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Kareem Hunt are ready for more. Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods should unleash the Dawgs against Jets QB Joe Flacco, 37.
Panthers see leader in Mayfield:‘Ultimate fighter’: Former Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield’s fire suits the Panthers’ style
Nate Ulrich (0-1)
Score: Browns 20, Jets 17
Comment: Cade York delivers again, this time in front of the home crowd. Why not?
Video after the match:WATCH: Postgame talk: Cleveland Browns vs. Carolina – Baker Mayfield’s return
George Thomas (1-0)
Score: Browns 21, Jets 17
Comment: It has the makings of a classic “Return of the Jed” moment: “It’s a trap!” A game they are supposed to win with the Jets starting QB. But here’s the thing. His replacement is a wily vet named Joe Flacco. He’s not the Flacco of old, but he has a 17-3 record against the Browns since his days with the Ravens. Can he imagine the Ghosts of NFL Past? I actually don’t think he can handle Browns defensive ends Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney, so I’ll go with the home team in the first game.
This article originally appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal: New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns NFL Week 2 home opener predictions