On the very next play, Mayfield hit Beckham with a slant pass, and the receiver outran the Jets’ defenders all the way to the end zone for an 89-yard TD that put Cleveland up 23-3 with 3:32 remaining in the third quarter.
The touchdown came after Beckham called out Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams last Thursday, saying the coach — then with the Browns — instructed players to hurt him in a preseason game in 2017. Williams denied Beckham’s accusations, jokingly asking reporters: “Odell who?” Williams, who led the Browns to a 5-3 record as their interim coach last season, also chided reporters for giving Beckham attention.
Well, Williams clearly knows who Beckham is now. The coach was seen shouting angrily on the sideline after Beckham’s touchdown.
And, that wasn’t all for Beckham, who finished with six catches for 161 yards and the TD.
He helped the Browns take a 3-0 lead on their first possession on Austin Seibert’s 23-yard field goal — a drive highlighted by a spectacular 33-yard, one-handed grab that got Cleveland down to the Jets 4.
It was reminiscent of Beckham’s highlight-reel, one-handed reception for the Giants on “Sunday Night Football” as a rookie in 2014. On this one, Mayfield found Beckham down the right sideline, and the receiver stuck out his right hand to snare the ball behind Nate Hairston — in nearly the same spot as his big catch five years ago.
And, yes, Beckham was wearing his expensive watch — despite the NFL telling him last week not to.
Beckham then had to come out of the game because officials made him change his mirrored visor. He returned with a clear visor on his helmet.
Seibert’s 48-yarder gave the Browns a 6-0 lead with 6:15 left in the opening quarter as Cleveland outgained New York 101-4 in the first quarter.
Nick Chubb’s 19-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter put Cleveland up 13-0. The drive was helped by a defensive holding call on Hairston — starting in place of Trumaine Johnson — on fourth-and-2 from the Jets 24.
Mayfield, who beat the Jets last year in his NFL debut during a Thursday night game that ended Cleveland’s 19-game winless skid, was 19 of 35 for 325 yards, including the long TD to Beckham, and an interception.
Garrett had three of the Browns’ four sacks.
Bell had 68 yards rushing on 21 carries and had 10 catches for 61 yards for the Jets.
Browns defensive end Chris Smith played after his girlfriend, Petara Cordero, was killed in car accident last week.
The 26-year-old Cordero was killed after she exited Smith’s Lamborghini and was standing on the highway’s shoulder when she was hit by an oncoming car.
Browns: TE David Njoku sustained a concussion in the opening quarter and didn’t return. … S Morgan Burnett injured his quadriceps.
Browns: host Los Angeles Rams next Sunday night in their second straight prime-time game.