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Browns hope dramatic win vs. Jets begins new chapter

The Browns' dramatic win over the Jets on Thursday night plunged the city into a cathartic celebration that pulsed deep into the wee hours of the morning. 

Cleveland ended a winless streak that dates back to Christmas Eve 2016 with a 21-17 victory over the Jets in which it overcame a double-digit deficit behind rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield and a defense that's starting to look like one of the league's best.

It was a storybook kind of night for a franchise that has struggled so much over the past two decades and, especially, over the past two seasons. 

Party on Cleveland, coach Hue Jackson said. 

But trust that this is just the beginning. 

"Everybody wants to make this a big moment. Winning is outstanding," he said with an ear-to-ear grin, "but we plan on doing this more. This is just the start of it, I truly believe, for this football team."

Following the franchise's first winless season and a 1-31 mark over the past two seasons, the Browns hope Thursday night's stirring showing is the beginning of a new chapter where winning becomes a norm. 

"What has happened in the past – I will say it again – has nothing to do with us," wide receiver Jarvis Landry said. "This is a new team. We are building in the right direction."

"Cleveland deserves a win, but we're not done yet," Mayfield added. "Just enjoy it. We deserve it, but at the same time we're just getting started."

There was so much to like, starting with him. 

The No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft came off the bench for an injured Tyrod Taylor and looked every bit like Cleveland's ever-elusive franchise quarterback; the Browns defense — which tallied just 13 takeaways in 2017 — added three more to bring their turnover total in 11 in three games; Landry, the three-time Pro Bowler, caught eight passes for 103 yards; running back Carlos Hyde, who bolted from the stadium postgame for the birth of a newborn, turned in his best performance as a Brown, combining for 103 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. 

The future is bright, Jackson said. 

Enjoy the journey. 

"I've said before, I think that this is the best team that I have had since I have been here. I truly believe that we are going to win a lot more games," he said. 

"Am I excited about tonight? Oh, my gosh, are you kidding me? I'm tired of all of the jokes. I'm m tired of all of the things being said. You try to watch TV. You try to miss a channel, but then there is, 'It's been 600 and some days since the Browns have won.' We've been the brunt of jokes, the brunt of everything. I get it, and we've owned that. 

"We deserve that, but hopefully, maybe people will start seeing that things are going to change here."

Thursday night, they hope, is the first of many victories for years to come.