BEREA — From 0-16 to first place of the AFC North at the quarter pole?

There is a strong chance the Browns will find themselves in that position if they win Sunday at Oakland in rookie Baker Mayfield's first Browns start.

A victory would put the Browns at 2-1-1 in a league whose coaches tend to divide seasons into quarters — Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley makes a crusade out of "winning the quarter."

The Pittsburgh Steelers were 0-1-1 heading into Monday night's game at Tampa Bay, in advance of a home game against the Baltimore Ravens (2-1) on Sunday in which the Steelers are early 3-point favorites. The Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) are 5½-point underdogs at Atlanta Sunday.

If the Browns get outcomes beneficial to them, they would be 2-1-1, ahead of the Ravens (2-2), Bengals (2-2) and Steelers (1-2-1).

"That would put us in the position we ultimately want to be in," running back Carlos Hyde said. "If we win the division, that puts us in the playoffs. To go to the playoffs and the Super Bowl is ultimately what we want. That [2-1-1 record] would put us on the right track."

The season-opening tie against the Steelers can become crucial. As for the Steelers, even if they come away from their Monday-Sunday games with two wins, they would be no better than tied with the Browns at 2-1-1, if the Browns win at Oakland.

The Browns would be wise not to get ahead of themselves of course. Looking at the near term,  next game after the Raiders is a divisional battle against the Ravens in Cleveland.

The rest of the schedule that takes the Browns to the season's midway point: Home to the Los Angeles Chargers on Oct. 14, at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 21 and at Pittsburgh on Oct. 28.

A 2-1-1 record would be the second best of the expansion era, trailing the 3-1 record compiled in 2001 under coach Butch Davis. Meanwhile, about getting encouraged but not carried away ...

The Browns were 2-2 in:

• 2000. Coach Chris Palmer got fired after a 3-13 season.

• 2002. They reached the playoffs at 9-7.

• 2004. Davis quit after 11 games.

• 2005. GM Phil Savage nearly got fired late in a 6-10 year.

• 2007. The team finished 10-6.

• 2011. The season record was 4-12.

• 2013. Coach Rob Chudzinski got fired after a 4-12 year.

• 2014. The team reached 7-4 but faded to 7-9.

Hyde's best rush

Carlos Hyde squeezed a football game into the momentous occasion of becoming of father.

He did not get in the entire Browns-Jets game, however, after word arrived on the Browns sideline that his girlfriend's labor had progressed to a crucial stage.

The game was almost over, with Hyde having run for 98 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets. A Browns employee was feeding him updates from the hospital, where his girlfriend was about to deliver their baby.

"When we went out to do victory [formation] to take a knee, my coach was like, 'Just go,'" Hyde said.

Hyde made a bee-line to the locker room, where he quick-changed and got to the hospital in time for the birth of an 8-pound, 11-ounce boy, Carlos Jr., in the wee hours Friday morning.

Hyde was at the hospital before the game, in touch with Jackson about progress toward delivery.

"He told me, 'Try to get here by 7 [for an 8:20 kickoff] so you can at least warm up,'" Hyde said.

Hyde admits it was hard to zero in on football.

"The only time I shut it out was when I was actually playing," he said. "I was already excited. It was my birthday. We had a game. And I was excited because my son was coming."