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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baker Mayfield has often been described as cocky, and Lamar Jackson has impressed teammates with his humility. Jackson strikes fear with his explosive speed, and Mayfield beats defenses deep with a strong arm and fearlessness.

While Jackson and Mayfield appear as opposite as their draft positions — Mayfield was selected at the top of the first round and Jackson at the bottom — they are more similar than many would think.

That’s according to tight end Mark Andrews, one of the few people who would know. In college, Andrews was Mayfield’s favorite pass-catcher at Oklahoma. In the NFL, he has become a popular target for Jackson.

“In terms of personality, guys like that have a certain thing about them – the ‘It Factor,’ I call it,” Andrews said. “They’re someone that you want to be around. There’s something about them that makes people gravitate towards them. They both have that. I think that speaks a lot to who they are and what they’re all about.”

These rookie quarterbacks are among the headliners for Sunday’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns. Jackson and the Ravens (9-6) can clinch what has been an elusive AFC North title with a win. Mayfield and the Browns (7-7-1) can secure an even more elusive winning record by beating Baltimore.

It will mark the first time in the Super Bowl era that two first-round quarterbacks face off as rookies in the final game of a season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Even though Jackson and Mayfield have never played against each other on the field, they’ve gone head-to-head against each other over the years. In 2016, Jackson won the Heisman Trophy and Mayfield finished third. In 2017, Mayfield won the Heisman and Jackson finished third.

Does it feel like Jackson has already competed against Mayfield?

Lamar Jackson might not be as brash as Baker Mayfield, but he has every desire to win. Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports
“No, not at all,” Jackson said. “He’s just playing a part for his team. He’s just doing his thing, and I just do mine — that’s all. We all want to win at the end of the day. So definitely, you can say that.”

Mayfield said he got to know Jackson and his family pretty well through the two Heisman ceremonies and the pre-draft process.

“Great guy,” Mayfield said. “He is someone who is fun to be around and makes it enjoyable so I would assume it is the same when it is coming to work every day.”

Jackson and Mayfield have been two of the most successful quarterbacks over the past two months. Since Week 10, they each own 5-1 records, and only three quarterbacks have more wins over that span (Drew Brees, Andrew Luck and Dak Prescott).

Over those seven weeks, Mayfield has the NFL’s second-best passer rating at 115.2. He has passed for 1,581 yards, throwing 14 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Since taking over as the Ravens’ starter in Week 11, Jackson has rushed for the eighth-most yards (466) in the league. He has broken five runs of 20 yards or more, and only Saquon Barkley and Josh Allen have produced more.

“[Jackson] is kind of unique in the way he plays the game, which is a positive,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “You have to try to find unique ways to utilize guys like this. I think the coaching staff in Cleveland has done a great job with Baker in doing the same thing.”

Andrews received a text from Mayfield this week wishing him a Merry Christmas. But Andrews knows Mayfield’s real intentions this week.

Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield met on the Heisman Trophy circuit, where each claimed the award once. Todd J. Van Emst/USA TODAY Sports
“He’s a killer,” Andrews said. “He doesn’t mess around. He’s fully intent on ruining our season. We’ll be ready for it.”

Would Andrews classify Jackson as a “killer” as well?

“Yeah, there’s no doubt. It’s a little bit different type of killer,” Andrews said. “Lamar hates to lose. He’s a guy that’s … you know, you’re down, you can rely on him, he’s going to do everything he can to win – whether it’s running the ball for fourth-and-inches or whatnot. He’s a guy that’s going to make the play. You saw it in the game when we were down – he makes that big play. That’s the type of person he is, and that’s the type of player he is, as well.”

This rookie class is the latest influx of quarterback talent in the NFL. The five quarterbacks drafted in the first round are the most since 1999.

Jackson and Mayfield have been the best in this group, besting the likes of Sam Darnold, Allen and Josh Rosen, and now they face off in one of the more important games of the final weekend of the regular season. Jackson is looking to lead Baltimore to its first division title in six years, and Mayfield is attempting to lift Cleveland to its first winning regular season in 11 years.

Ravens safety Eric Weddle wouldn’t be surprised to see more rookie quarterbacks squaring off in these critical games going forward.

“I think the philosophy and the game is changing that you’re going to see more young quarterbacks have success early, taking the dynamics of what they do in college and adapt that to the system they’re running in the NFL,” Weddle said. “Baker was talented in college. You knew once he got in there and made some plays, he was going to do well. Lamar is getting his opportunity, and each week he’s showing what he’s all about.”

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CLEVELAND — The beer-fueled bash spilled into the streets around FirstEnergy Stadium as delirious Browns fans walked — some staggered — while chanting for their new hero, the streak buster.

“Ba-ker May-field,” they screamed.

They’ve named their new starting quarterback. Coach Hue Jackson isn’t quite there yet.

Jackson said he isn’t ready to “officially” identify his starter for next week’s game in Oakland, but all signs point to Mayfield taking over in Cleveland following his dazzling NFL debut on Thursday night.

The No. 1 pick in this year’s draft replaced concussed starter Tyrod Taylor late in the first half and led the Browns (1-1-1) on four scoring drives as they erased a two-touchdown deficit to beat the New York Jets 21-17 and end Cleveland’s 19-game winless streak — the NFL’s second longest since 1970.

Jackson seems to only be delaying the inevitable: Mayfield’s the guy.

And if Jackson doesn’t’ pick the celebrated and uber-confident rookie, he won’t have to jump in Lake Erie again. Browns fans will throw him in. This one’s a no-brainer.

Jackson, who gave his players the weekend off, wants to watch more tape and speak with his staff and general manager John Dorsey before making a decision that Mayfield has already made for him.

Although Jackson wouldn’t publicly say Mayfield is his new starter, he gave strong indication he’s leaning that way by telling reporters on a conference call, “I think that you guys all feel good about where things are headed.”

It’s Baker time.

Out of respect for Taylor, who is in concussion protocol with his third head injury in 13 months, Jackson wants to tell his two quarterbacks his decision in person on Monday before sharing it with the world.

Cleveland’s plan was to bring Mayfield along slowly and groom him under Taylor, who guided Buffalo to the playoffs last season. But Taylor’s injury along with his struggles in three starts has altered the Browns’ strategy.

Taylor has completed 41 of 84 passes for 462 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, adding 125 yards rushing on 16 carries.

But even before he was knocked from Thursday’s game, Cleveland’s offence was going nowhere as Taylor was 4 of 14 for 19 yards and was sacked three times. Jackson sidestepped addressing whether he was going to pull Taylor at halftime, but it had to be running through his mind because anyone watching the game was thinking the same thing.

Mayfield’s first regular-season game as a pro couldn’t have gone much better. He completed 17 of 23 passes for 201 yards and was sacked once in just a little more than one half. His stats could have been more impressive if not for a drop by sure-handed receiver Jarvis Landry, and rookie Antonio Callaway letting a long throw down the sideline slip through his hands.

“He made some tremendous throws,” Jackson said. “Obviously, he was able to move the team. Played with some rhythm. Got the ball into the playmakers’ hands and gave them chances to make plays. There are some things that he has to clean up, obviously. We can’t have the ball out on the ground. There are some progression things that we will work through.

“Overall for his first game out under the lights in that environment in that situation, he handled all of that extremely well and played well.”

Most impressively, Mayfield did it on a short work week and without taking any snaps in practice with Cleveland’s first-team offence. In fact, the 2-point conversion try he caught in the third quarter came on the first time he had ever run the play.

But just as he did while winning the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma, Mayfield elevated everyone around him, and in turn electrified 60,000 fans and a national TV audience.

Mayfield took it all in stride, displaying humility that some wondered if he had after some questionable on-field antics while he starred for the Sooners. This game ranked with any of his wins.

“This one is definitely up there, being the first NFL game that I have played in,” he said. “First regular-season one that actually counts. It is definitely up there for me. I have had some great memories, but I am just getting started.”

NOTES: Other than Taylor, LB James Burgess (knee) was the only other notable injury against the Jets. Burgess started for LB Christian Kirksey, who missed his second straight game with an ankle injury. … Jackson said he’s not worried about giving his players so much freedom over the weekend. “We can’t follow them around. We can’t baby them,” he said. “At the same time, we know who the guys are who we have to have an idea of where they are and what they have been doing. They have been good about letting us know, and we will definitely stay in contact with the majority of the guys.”