Baker Mayfield tied a franchise record held by Otto Graham and the Cleveland Browns set a franchise mark with 38 first-half points Sunday in a 41-35 defeat of the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, Tenn.
Mayfield completed 25 of 33 passes for 334 yards and four scores for a near-perfect passer rating of 147.0. All four touchdowns occurred in the first half, matching Graham’s feat that was originally accomplished in 1951.
Cleveland (9-3) scored on all six first-half possessions, and could have easily made it six touchdowns. But rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones dropped a potential scoring pass just before Cody Parkey initiated scoring with a 27-yard field goal with 10:43 left in the first quarter.
However, Peoples-Jones made up for it in the second quarter. On the Browns’ first play after Tennessee got on the board with Ryan Tannehill’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Corey Davis, Peoples-Jones burned Breon Borders with an out-and-up. Mayfield hit Peoples-Jones in stride for a 75-yard score and a 24-7 advantage with 13:04 left in the first half.
That was part of a 28-point second-quarter outburst for Cleveland. On the quarter’s first play, Mayfield lofted a 1-yard touchdown pass to offensive tackle Kendall Lamm. Mayfield added a 17-yard strike to Rashard Higgins and Nick Chubb capped the half by leaping a yard with 55 seconds remaining.
The Titans (8-4) tried to rally in the third quarter. They drew within 38-21 on two touchdowns by MyCole Pruitt. He caught a 22-yard pass from Tannehill, then recovered a fumble by A.J. Brown at the 3 and dove into the end zone.
Parkey’s 43-yard field goal upped the Browns’ lead to 20 points, and M.J. Stewart intercepted a tipped pass at the Cleveland 9 with 15 seconds remaining to keep Tennessee from drawing within two scores at the time.
Tannehill finished 29 of 45 for 389 yards with three touchdowns and the pick. He hit Cameron Batson with an 8-yard scoring strike with 28 seconds left to pull Tennessee within six points, but Andy Janovich fell on an onside kick to seal it.
League rushing leader Derrick Henry was held to 60 yards on 15 carries for Tennessee.
The Titans fell into a first-place tie in the AFC South with Indianapolis, a 26-20 winner in Houston.