On Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns will start second year man Johnny "Football" Manziel. Manziel, who was the 22nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, will get his second chance to start this season, as starting quarterback Josh McCown is hampered with what looked like a painful rib injury.
Manziel’s first career start was against the Bengals, he went 10-for-18 for 80 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.
"On the short week, we realized that Josh just wasn't going to be able to get to the point where he could go," Browns coach Mike Pettine said this morning. "Johnny has worked hard to prepare himself. He is excited about his opportunity and we are all looking forward to the challenge."
In Manziel’s previous start this season against the Tennessee Titans, he threw two deep touchdowns in a 28-14 victory, a performance that had many calling for Manziel to become the full time starter. This week presents a prime opportunity for Manziel to prove himself against a team that flat out embarrassed him 30-0 in his first career start.
General manager Ray Farmer spoke about how much Manziel has improved since his first start. "I think he has done a much better job this year of doing exactly what he has been asked to do, inside and around us," Farmer said. "When we see him here in the building Johnny has been doing the right things that we want to see him do from a learning and growth perspective."
Manziel has been under scrutiny recently after an incident with Cleveland police occurred when Manziel and girlfriend Colleen Crowley were seen having a very animated argument on the side of the road. The NFL is currently investigating into the situation. There has been no decision on if there will be discipline or not.
Manziel will be without his two top wideouts this week as both Brian Hartline and Andrew Hawkins are still in the league’s concussion protocol. Travis Benjamin has been a favorite of Manziel’s in the past.
In three games this year, Manziel has completed 28-of-50 passes for 393 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception. He has a passer rating of 93.2. He will go up against an undefeated Bengals team who is seventh in the league in points allowed with 18.9.