CLEVELAND — Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield challenged Browns fans to show up for Sunday's home finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The fans delivered a sellout, an electric atmosphere and "Baker" chants.

And Mayfield and Co. held up their end of the bargain, putting on a show worth the price of admission in coach Hue Jackson's return to Cleveland.

The Browns earned a 26-18 victory at FirstEnergy Stadium, finishing 5-2-1 at home, their best record on the lakefront since they went 7-1 in Cleveland in 2007, and clinching their first winning record in the AFC North since the division was formed in 2002.

They also earned a season sweep of a divisional opponent for the first time since 2007, when they went 2-0 against the Baltimore Ravens, and a sweep of the Bengals for the first time since 2002. The Browns cruised to a 35-20 triumph Nov. 25 in Cincinnati.

Although they were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention when the Tennessee Titans defeated Washington 25-16 on Saturday night, the Browns performed as if they had plenty to play for, just like Mayfield publicly demanded Wednesday.

At 7-7-1, the Browns have a chance to finish a season with a winning record for the first time since 2007, when they went 10-6 but missed the playoffs. They'll visit the Ravens for the Dec. 30 regular-season finale.

The Browns are now 3-1-1 in the division this season, matching their most AFC North wins in a season (they had three in 2002 and 2007). They would reach four victories in the division with a win over the Ravens (9-6).

Mayfield completed 27-of-37 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns with a rating of 121.9. He needs three touchdown passes to break the NFL rookie record of 26 shared by Peyton Manning (1998) and Russell Wilson (2012).

Running back Nick Chubb broke Trent Richardson's franchise record for rushing yards by a rookie (950 in 2012) in the third quarter and finished with 112 yards on 19 carries (5.9 average) behind an offensive line motivated to win one for beloved position coach Bob Wylie, who remained hospitalized Sunday after suffering a gruesome broken ankle and undergoing surgery Thursday. Chubb's rushing total this season is 972 yards.

The Browns' defense pitched a shutout through three quarters. The Bengals (6-9) fell behind 23-0 didn't score until Randy Bullock made a 51-yard field goal with 14:55 left in the fourth quarter.

The Browns led 16-0 at halftime on the strength of Mayfield going 14-of-19 passing for 104 yards and two touchdowns with a rating of 121.4 and the Browns outgaining the Bengals 255-36 in the first half.

After a sloppy and scoreless first quarter, the Browns got their act together on offense.

They seized a 7-0 lead with 10:20 left in the second quarter partly because of the aggressive nature of interim coach Gregg Williams, promoted on Oct. 29, the same day the Browns fired Jackson, who went 3-36-1 in 2 1/2 seasons as their head coach and joined the Bengals as a special assistant to coach Marvin Lewis on Nov. 13.

Facing fourth-and-1 at the Bengals 15-yard line, Williams decided to go for it instead of settling for a 33-yard field goal. The gamble paid off when wide receiver Jarvis Landry broke to the outside, then cut in, stumbled, got up and caught a 6-yard pass from Mayfield with cornerback Darqueze Dennard in coverage.

Then on third-and-goal, Mayfield threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Njoku in the back left corner of the end zone over strong safety Shawn Williams, finishing the 13-play, 74-yard drive.

Following a second consecutive three-and-out by the Bengals, the Browns used the creativity of offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens to strike again.

On first-and-10 from the Bengals 30, Mayfield handed off to rookie receiver Antonio Callaway on a fake end around. Callaway pitched the ball to Landry, and Landry launched a 63-yard pass to fellow receiver Breshad Perriman, who beat the coverage of Williams.

Two plays later, on second-and-goal, Mayfield drilled a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Darren Fells with linebacker Hardy Nickerson draped on him in the end zone. Greg Joseph missed the extra point when the ball hit the right upright, but the three-play, 70-yard drive still allowed the Browns to go ahead 13-0 with 7:12 left in the second quarter.

The Browns got the ball back again with 4:55 left in the second quarter, and Joseph bounced back by capping a 10-play, 61-yard march with a 37-yard field goal, giving the Browns a 16-0 advantage with 10 seconds remaining in the first half.

When the Browns settled for the field goal at the Bengals 19, it became just the second time they entered the red zone and failed to score a touchdown since Kitchens became their offensive coordinator on Oct. 29. They have scored a TD on 17 of their 19 red-zone trips with Kitchens calling the plays.

On third-and-4, the Browns extended their lead to 23-0 with 4:53 left in the third quarter when Mayfield and wide receiver Rashard Higgins connected for a 17-yard touchdown on a catch-and-run to cap a nine-play, 87-yard drive. The series after Bullock made his 51-yard kick, Joseph tacked on a 31-yard field goal to give the Browns a 26-3 cushion with 7:26 remaining in the fourth quarter.

However, the Bengals rallied. They blocked a punt late in the fourth quarter, and three plays later, cut their deficit to eight points with 2:56 left when quarterback Jeff Driskel connected with receivers John Ross for a 3-yard touchdown and Cody Core for a 2-point conversion.

Mayfield, though, sealed the victory during the ensuing series when he connected with Njoku for a 66-yard gain, allowing the Browns to run out the clock. The Browns were more dominant than the final score suggests. They outgained the Bengals 493-209 yards.

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read his Browns coverage at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ByNateUlrich and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.