Watch Michael Johnson’s HUGE Hit on Manziel


Oct 4, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (90) sacks Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

With a 31-10 smashing of the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals are the first team in the NFL to reach an 8-0 record, thanks to spectacular offensive play and a vastly improving defense. One of the biggest difference-makers on defense this season has been defensive end Michael Johnson. Take a look at his insane hit on Johnny Manziel from last night’s victory below:

Johnson is midway through his seventh NFL season–his sixth with the Cincinnati Bengals. After a strong performance in 2012 and 2013, in which Johnson accumulated 15 sacks, two forced fumbles, two interceptions 11 pass deflections and five run stuffs over two seasons, Johnson decided to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa’s decision to sign Johnson didn’t pan out very well, as Johnson, signed to a five-year, $43.75 million deal with $24 million guaranteed, only recorded four sacks, four stuffs and two forced fumbles. The Bucs decided that Michael Johnson wasn’t worth the lucrative salary he was being paid, so they released him after the 2014 season.

Cincinnati quickly approached Johnson and signed him to a four-year, $20 million deal. Johnson has made an immediate impact for the Bengals, shoring up Cincinnati’s run defense and adding to its already potent pass rush. Through eight games, the Bengals’ starters on the defensive line have accumulated a collective 18.5 sacks after the entire team brought down opposing quarterbacks a league-low 20 times in the entirety of the 2014 season.

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Michael Johnson’s return has shored up the Bengals’ defensive line, and as a result, Cincinnati’s defense has quickly transformed from one of the league’s worst defenses into one of the NFL’s best.