Can Manziel step up his game against undefeated Bengals?

QB Johnny Manziel is expected to start over Josh McCown on TNF as the Browns travel to Cincinnati.

| 12 months ago
(AP Photo/David Richard)

(AP Photo/David Richard)

Can Manziel step up his game against undefeated Bengals?

With Josh McCown’s status uncertain, the Cleveland Browns may turn to Johnny Manziel to lead the team on their Thursday night road contest against Cincinnati. Neither quarterback has been great this year with McCown at an overall rating of 60.0, while Manziel is not far behind at 53.4.

Manziel has played a fourth of the snaps McCown has, with his only start coming in Week 2 against the Titans. The Browns won that game by 14 points despite Manziel only throwing 14 times. Both of his touchdowns came on 20+ yard throws down the middle. Unfortunately for Manziel, the Bengals haven’t allowed a single completion in that “zone” in seven attempts — two of which ended in interceptions.

Cleveland has one of the better offensive lines when it comes to PFF’s pass blocking efficiency metric. They’re currently fifth at 82.8, surrendering only nine sacks and 14 QB hits. A traditional dropback passer, McCown only saw pressure 35.3 percent of the time.  Manziel has been pressured on 52.4 percent of his dropbacks this year, often undone by his own improvisation.

The Browns face a daunting task going on the road on a short week against a divisional opponent. We’ll see if Cleveland can build off what was a good start to the season before they crumbled and catch the Bengals off guard coming off their big road win at Pittsburgh.

  • dieselman

    Just like last season. Put Manziel up against a hot Bengals team with zero preparation with the #1 offense and expect him to perform. If he does great, the moron Pattine will pull him next week so he can continue with his apparent BFF losing QB of the no-future. If Manziel’s attacked repeatedly and has bad timing with the midget receivers, Pattine will claim Johnny’s still not ready.

    The kid can’t win in Cleveland. Hope he gets traded to a contending team so he can be given a chance. The Browns are dead with Pettine and Farmer.

    • Zack23

      A contending team is going to give Manziel a chance? Huh?

    • Don Sabatini

      Yeah that’s it. Johnny’s problem is a lack of preparation and that will be the excuse. Even though he practiced with the ones all last week while McCown recovered. A popgun arm; no vision; no pocket awareness; slow; and small may have more to do with it than prep. And when the prep you do have is spent in front of a vodka bottle then the results are pretty predictable. But at least he now knows how to call a play in the huddle, which represents a drastic improvement over a year ago.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Doing prep in front of a vodka bottle would be fine if you were scheduled to play chess but this is the NFL so man-up and get a bottle of Wild Turkey, mister Manziel.

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