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Johnny Manziel’s debut draws record ratings for NFL Network


Who knew the return of Dan Orlovsky was going to be such a big deal?

Via The Big Lead, Saturday night’s Lions-Browns game drew record ratings for the NFL Network, with a 1.81 rating and 2.2 million viewers.

OK, so it was probably Johnny Manziel they were tuning in to see.

The other games in the preseason top five for the league’s own network were Hall of Fame games (2007, Saints-Steelers and 2012 Saints-Cardinals), and a couple of Tim Tebow games, a 2010 Broncos-Bengals and a 2012 Jets-Giants matchup.

So while some will accuse the media (man, I hate those guys), of shoveling some stories down your throats, there’s clearly an appetite for them.

So we’ll keep shoveling.

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32 Responses to “Johnny Manziel’s debut draws record ratings for NFL Network”
  1. uglydingo says: Aug 12, 2014 12:00 PM

    They are watching the Browns to see Johnny Football not Brian Football.

  2. styx630 says: Aug 12, 2014 12:02 PM

    I’m sure being the Saturday night primetime game helped a bit.

  3. firecracker87 says: Aug 12, 2014 12:04 PM

    People tuned in the same reason they tune into a Nascar race…to see a crash.

  4. thegreatgabbert says: Aug 12, 2014 12:04 PM

    The “Orlovsky Effect” remains an obscure term used by a small group of scientists in the field of particle physics.

  5. barsfordays says: Aug 12, 2014 12:05 PM

    Brian Hoyer is a journeyman career backup who had like 3 starts last year and threw more INTs than anything.He flat out sucked. This guy was in Arizona in 2012 and benchwarmed for scrubs such as Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley, and uh, John Skelton. Yeah, hes that bad. Johnny Football is a phenom once in a generation type player, clearly its a rigged competition if he’s not starting Week 1.

    Tim Tebow > Brian Hoyer

  6. numba1wiscosportsfan says: Aug 12, 2014 12:07 PM

    Still a dolt.

  7. richmondbolt says: Aug 12, 2014 12:07 PM


  8. silvercrush33 says: Aug 12, 2014 12:12 PM

    So riddle me this: if everyone is tuning in to see Manziel and not Hoyer, when Hoyer starts the season, if he maintains the starting job, and if the Browns turn out to be contenders, are you really not going to watch them?

  9. PokeSalad says: Aug 12, 2014 12:18 PM

    This guy is money, in every sense of the word. His presence is simply a licence to print $$$$

  10. freddiec8 says: Aug 12, 2014 12:18 PM

    This is Tim Tebow all over. The media build this up until he becomes a destraction to the team, the team needs to be close to the media.

  11. 6ball says: Aug 12, 2014 12:37 PM

    So, by your logic, I watched some of the Hall of Fame game just to get a glimpse of EJ Manuel.

  12. jmblosser82 says: Aug 12, 2014 12:46 PM

    freddiec8, in a league where players get fined for not talking to the media, that would never happen.

  13. clashpoint says: Aug 12, 2014 12:56 PM

    Well, I’ll gonna go with a combination of being a Saturday night primetime game, and just simply more people having access to the NFL network. Occam’s razor doesn’t really cut very deep y’know, that’s kinda the whole point behind it. Simplicity is correlated with likely.

  14. leagueobservr says: Aug 12, 2014 12:58 PM

    “So while some will accuse the media (man, I hate those guys), of shoveling some stories down your throats, there’s clearly an appetite for them.”

    LOL, yes indeed, yes indeed!!! 😀

  15. lks311 says: Aug 12, 2014 1:04 PM

    Undoubtedly, all tuned in to watch Kellen Moore.

  16. fpstratton says: Aug 12, 2014 1:07 PM

    If this is the best the NFL has to offer, it just shows how the quality of the product has degraded. Johnny Manziel is a bore. I really don’t care if he goes to Vegas or not. I really don’t care what he does or doesn’t do. He’s just not that interesting to me. I realize your mileage may vary, but I don’t see him as being a particularly fascinating personality. As for his football, just wait until he gets clocked NFL style….oh, wait a minute, defenders can’t even breathe on QB’s anymore. I guess he’ll be all right.

  17. jmc8888 says: Aug 12, 2014 1:11 PM

    The problem with ESPN and the others isn’t that they are covering Manziel, Clowney, Sam, etc.

    It’s that that’s ALL they are doing. PFT does do a lot of articles on these guys, but at least they have other articles.

    Most of the hate is rightly directed at sportscasts that have 60 minutes but can’t have 30 seconds showing actual highlights because they have to show their predetermined players.

    They talk about Manziel like he is god, but then right at the end say, his performance only led to 3 point and Detroit won. Gee, the way they were talking about Manziel, they should of won 28-0.

    Or showing Clowney and Watt’s sack, but then forgetting they lost 32-0 and forgetting to show a single highlight from the winning team, which there were many, including a blistering performance by Logan Thomas.

    It’s not that the media are giving people what they want, it’s that some people are coming up with storylines, then just watching the game for those storylines, and then just reporting them.

    Since this is the case, why even bother? We all know who will be shown and why, and we’ll have to turn elsewhere to find real coverage. Who knew Bortles or Thomas did good? No one who watched ESPN that’s who.

    ESPN football coverage is all Clowney, Manziel, and Sam.

    Me personally, I want to see who is doing well, based on reporters actually watching games and reporting what happens, rather then putting a pen to a checklist.

    Poor Logan Thomas, played better then any other rookie QB, even Bortles, who also is getting shafted, and all we see is the big MEH of Manziel.

  18. jmc8888 says: Aug 12, 2014 1:14 PM

    …and yes, people want a full range of sports news, not just 50 articles/video segments about 3 people and then 5 for the rest of the league.

    So it doesn’t matter what the stats say, people want FULL coverage, not concentrated coverage on a few.

    Sure clowney will play. But Manziel and Sam? One will be riding the bench, and the other won’t make the team.

  19. oldcracker says: Aug 12, 2014 1:15 PM

    I watched simply because the Browns are the team I support and root for.

    I’m no fan of Manziel but, I’m not a hater either. Hoyer seemed flat w horrible WR’s. The kid did okay but did not impress me. He has to learn to tuck that ball away if he’s going to run with it. (Defenses all over the NFL are licking their chops to strip that ball.) I was disappointed in not seeing Connor Shaw get a few reps. I was impressed with Kellen Moore from the Lions.

    I was expecting to see some sort of “meat-grinder” defense, making dog food out of the opponent. However, we got sloppy tackling and a “deer-in-the-headlights” special teams play. I was hoping to see CB Gilbert, probably more so than Manziel.

    Smh…it was a pre-season game.

  20. salmen76 says: Aug 12, 2014 1:24 PM

    I tuned in to see Johnny live. And he did not disappoint. Johnny Football is the real deal. Jerry Jones will soon regret not drafting Johnny when he had the chance. Just wish he was on a better team. Geaux Saints!

  21. abninf says: Aug 12, 2014 1:34 PM

    Heck, I started watching Denver when Tebow was starting just to see if he would make a 4th quarter comeback again. Half the time he did.

  22. emma333 says: Aug 12, 2014 1:37 PM

    I admit, I watched because I was curious to see how he would do..He looked ok, not bad..Still, hasn’t ESPN or NFL Network learned anything? It is tiresome seeing the” hype machine” cover the same few, and seemingly creating “story-lines” while none exist. Meanwhile, ignoring what is happening with the other teams and players..It is not only boring, it is lazy.

  23. flickaboogie says: Aug 12, 2014 2:19 PM

    Kellen Moore was the best QB on the field that night and never even got mentioned.

  24. mshawn75 says: Aug 12, 2014 2:33 PM

    The only reason this was Saturday’s prime time game, was so NFL Network could showcase him before ESPN. Please let him start against the Redskins. I can’t watch another quarter of football listening to the announcers, waiting for him to come in.

  25. fpstratton says: Aug 12, 2014 2:56 PM

    People say Johnny Football is the real deal. Based on what? Because he gets all the media attention? Because he played lights out against Alabama two seasons ago? Because Cleveland beat Detroit 13-12? He’s really not that great. He’s not bad, either. He’s just another quarterback trying to get a starting job for a team whose recent history is littered with failure. I don’t think he leads them past Cincinnati, Baltimore, or Pittsburgh. So, the emperor will again have no clothes. Cleveland will be at the lower end of the division, as usual.

  26. mediasloppy says: Aug 12, 2014 4:45 PM

    I had to turn the channel. I think I heard the name “Johnny Football” said more times in the 2 hour pre-show than John Maddon uttered the name “Brett Favre” during his whole career.

  27. brownsmakemecrazy says: Aug 12, 2014 6:43 PM

    Manziel looked better than I was expecting. I don’t know what game you people were watching that said he was nothing special. His arm was much stronger than I expected and his running ability makes him a dual threat.

    He didn’t disappoint either with a Johnny Football moment with the jump pass backwards to Terrance West.

    And for those that criticized him for not throwing it to the fullback that one time that he ran for a 1st down, one he wasn’t wide open and he probably didn’t have confidence the fullback would catch it. It’s not like, besides Josh Gordon, the Browns have velcro for hands on their receivers.

    I love the criticism too of him being a spoiled rich kid. Wow bitter people jealous that he grew up with money. That’s not his fault.

    Go Johnny Go!

  28. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 12, 2014 10:04 PM

    Also JF set records for jersey sells after the draft. I’m telling you Jerry Jones should have drafted this marketing dream.

  29. clevelandrocks73 says: Aug 12, 2014 10:32 PM

    You guys just cant stand that the Browns are getting attention. What are you afraid of?

  30. clevelandrocks73 says: Aug 12, 2014 10:33 PM

    Didn’t mommy hug you enough?

  31. clevelandrocks73 says: Aug 12, 2014 10:39 PM

    I love the Browns but I am also realistic. I truly believe we are the best team in the AFC North. I do believe we will win the division. Superbowl champs within the next 5 years if not sooner. I have never believed this. I do now.

  32. sb44champs says: Aug 13, 2014 9:45 AM

    Its no coincidence the other 2 highest rated games had the Saints high-octane offense…

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