Dec 14, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) runs away from Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap (96) at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Bengals won 30-0. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals are 1-0 against Johnny Manziel and will try to build on that record tomorrow night. Today, Cleveland Browns head coach, Mike Pettine, announced that Manziel will get the starting nod after it became clear that Josh McCown will not be healthy enough to play in Thursday night’s game.
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Johnny Manziel has completed 56 percent of his passes this season, throwing for 568 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He was fantastic in his only start of the season, carving up the Tennessee Titans’ defense to the tune of 172 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 133.9 passer rating.
But Manziel struggled in his first NFL start last, which occurred last season against the Cincinnati Bengals. The boys in stripes shut out Manziel’s Browns, holding the quarterback to 10 completions of his 18 attempts. Manziel only passed for 80 yards, and he was picked off twice in a game where his passer rating was a miserable 27.3 and his Total QBR was an incredibly awful 1.1.
Manziel surely won’t be as awful as he was in his first start–that’s almost impossible. And considering that he’s been playing well in the limited 2015 action he’s seen, Manziel could be an interesting opponent for the Bengals.
"“Manziel [may start] a bit sooner than the Browns would have liked, but the opportunity is now there [for him to prove that his team should] make a switch [and give him the full-time starting job]."
Josh McCown may be having a great season, but switching to Manziel could give the Browns a much-needed change of energy (and we’ve seen firsthand how making a switch in the lineup can make a huge impact).
One of the biggest questions pertaining to this game has to be whether the Bengals will do the “money sign” sack celebration when they take down Manziel; we’ll just have to wait and see if it happens on Thursday night.
For more Bengals news, be sure to follow Connor on Twitter and follow Stripe Hype as well. Connor will be live-tweeting Thursday night’s game, barring technical difficulties, in case you aren’t able to watch the game. Who Dey!