- Jason Miller/Getty Images
- Rookie Baker Mayfield took over as quarterback for the Cleveland Browns in the second quarter of their Thursday night matchup against the New York Jets.
- Mayfield made an immediate impact, most notably converting the “Philly Special” on a crucial two-point opportunity.
- Versions of the popular trick play made famous by the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII have now been successfully converted twice so far in the young NFL season.
Baker Mayfield saw his first regular season NFL action on Thursday night and was quick to make his presence known as the potential future of the Cleveland Browns.
After a disappointing first half from starter Tyrod Taylor, Mayfield took the field in the final two minutes of the first half to lead the Browns on their first scoring drive of the game, cutting the New York Jets lead to 14-3.
But even though he made a few pristine throws in his initial appearance, Mayfield’s highlight reel began in the second half.
After the Browns scored a touchdown late in the third quarter, Cleveland was left to go for two facing a 14-12 deficit.
Cleveland would fall apart at first on a broken play, but be given a second opportunity thanks to offsetting holding penalties. With a second shot at forcing the tie, the Browns drew up something special – the Philly Special.
After faking an audible, Mayfield would run to the end zone as the direct snap went to his running back. One quick lateral and easy throw later, Mayfield would catch the ball in the end zone to convert, perfectly executing the most iconic play of Super Bowl LII.
From passing to catching, Baker Mayfield can do it all pic.twitter.com/J87DGOD4A1
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) September 21, 2018
As many were quick to note, Mayfield was no stranger to the play, having run a similar package against Georgia during his time in college.
The play is just the latest iteration of the popular trick play to convert at the NFL level. The Philadelphia Eagles, who made the play famous during their Super Bowl win over the Patriots, ran a similar play in their season-opening win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Mayfield would go on to lead the Browns on one more scoring drive to give Cleveland a 21-17 lead that would hold until the final whistle sounded. After years of ineptitude, the Cleveland Browns recorded their first win since December 24, 2016.
Given the success of the play, NFL teams need to learn to defend against the trivial trickery and fast.