Johnny Manziel makes strides, leads touchdown drive against Bills


Yes, it’s just the preseason, but Johnny Manziel posted a solid outing for the Cleveland Browns in the second half of Thursday night’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

Manziel completed 10-of-18 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown in relief of starter Josh McCown. Manziel helped pilot the Browns on an 11-play, 96-yard touchdown drive that showed off some of his raw ability.

Manziel was 5-for-6 for 82 yards on the drive that culminated with an impressive 21-yard touchdown pass to Shane Wynn. Manziel stepped up in the pocket and dropped a perfectly thrown ball into Wynn in the corner of the end zone.

Manziel also had a 37-yard completion to Darius Jennings earlier on the drive while rolling left and throwing back across his body.

Head coach Mike Pettine has said that McCown is the team’s starter and that doesn’t seem to be in doubt despite some flashes from Manziel Thursday night.

I’m not going to sit here and stir up a quarterback controversy,” Pettine said after the game, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

McCown was intercepted twice on just 10 passes against Buffalo. He finished the game 7-of-10 for 57 yards with two picks.

Despite Pettine’s statement, if Manziel continues to play well it could be difficult to keep the former first-round pick off the field.

31 responses to “Johnny Manziel makes strides, leads touchdown drive against Bills

  1. McCown is so bad he has actually opened the door for Johnny. As bad as the Browns are, they have to be considering Johnny after watching that horror show McCown put on. Yikes.
    3-13 by the looks of it, 4-12 if everything breaks well.

  2. Give Johnny the keys. He looks like he’s making strides and getting better. All they need is good running game, and for him to manage the game. His stat line would’ve been better, had his receivers caught the ball.

  3. Manziel is a sneaky fantasy sleeper in deeper leagues. You heard it here first.

  4. Johnny Manziel is the only QB on the roster who could be the future..
    Start him all 16 games… And if he plays good or great he can start 2016 as well… If he plays poorly and with no semblance of a starting QB in the NFL then draft a QB in 2016 and move on… End of story…

  5. He should absolutely be starting. Where on earth does this team think there going that they need an “established” veteran quarterback? And what on earth has Josh McCown done to deserve such protection? What am I missing here?

  6. He is exponentially improved and I am rooting for him big time. Night and day from last year. No off field issues. No media issues. Hope it continues.

  7. Look I’ve never really been a big fan of Manziel. Last year in his first game the Bengals absolutely mauled him when all the guys on CBS said Cleveland would beat them. Yeah it was a funny joke at that time. Obviously he had some growing up to do and probably still does.

    I do think he should get an opportunity to lead the Browns and let the Browns see what they have with him. We all know what McCown is, he’s a journeyman that had a half a season revival in Chicago with amazing offensive talent around him. Not like he’s taking the Browns to a deep playoff run might as well let Johnny play. Can’t be any worse than what they’ve had.

  8. Just so I’m clear, this was against 3rd and 4th stringers in a PRE-SEASON game where nobody is gameplanning anybody… and we’re losing our minds over it? Yokay.

  9. As long as Manziel makes some modest strides, give him a shot. Everyone knows what McCown offers. It is beyond absurd to think about giving up on a 1st round QB after two starts in his rookie season, rehab or not.

  10. Johnny led one decent drive playing the entire second half while all the Bills starting defense watched from the sideline.

  11. That was against next months car wash workers. A starting defense will crush him. The factory of sadness working 3rd shift this year.

  12. McCown’s motivation is no longer with him, sitting behind Jay Cutler and watching him not give a sh!t would motivate many to get in there and give it all you got. Once the starting keys were handed to McCown via free agency, that fire has been extinguished.

    Manziel will get his chance to start by the mid point, house edge on that.

  13. I think Pettine is odd. He just doesn’t seem like a football coach. I’m sure he knows a lot of football and is deserving of his opportunity but something is just off.

  14. McClown looked terrible and Johnny Rehab looked good against practice squad tackling dummies.

  15. McCown looked awful but if I’m a Browns fan I’m wondering what’s up with the OL. Pass protection was horrible. For a unit with big money guys like Joe Thomas and Mack I was shocked how much trouble they had.

  16. Everything will work out. The coaches are going to be smart about this. They don’t want a circus where they’re changing QBs every two weeks, so they’ll make the change when it’s time. And then they won’t have to make another change for ten years. Be patient Browns’ fans. You’ve waiting this long.

  17. Patience is a virtue browns fans. While Josh’s performance was not what we wanted to see. He didn’t have much of a chance with the poor performance from our offensive line. Do you really think Johnny would have faired much better against the Bill’s #1 defense, really? When we can see Johnny against some #1 D’s, and still play the way he did last night, then lets think about putting him in the starting role.

  18. billswillnevermove says:Aug 21, 2015 7:38 AM

    McCown is awful. I’d much rather have Tyrod or EJ. Thank God we did not sign this guy!!!


    Ummmmmmmm, your options actually lack a certain…everything. I wouldn’t get too excited about Tyrod or EJ. You might be begging for Josh come December.

  19. Yeah, I wonder how JF would have done against the Buffalo starting D. I too was shocked on how poorly our online played. Not very encouraging. Granted, they were really blitzing like crazy out there, something you usually don’t see too much in preseason, but they still should have done better. I was also shocked at how poorly our D played. I know we had some guys sitting, but come on, it was Buffalo for God sakes! Not a good game all around and because of that, the only positive was Manziel, so he will be the headlines until the next game.

  20. Last year, he was slow…this year he is running faster (staying off sauce does that), which is a good thing given Rex inspired full court blitzing seems to be in vogue. Johny found his outlets.
    While panning him for his play against 2nd string defense seems logical, he seemed to have a 2nd string receiver core, so it all evens out.
    The fact he never got smacked is a good sign. He is learning this year…

  21. I love how so few people can think objectively.

    McCown: 7-10 with two INTs. Simple, right?

    Consider that one INT was due to a muffed catch by the receiver. Bounced right out of his hands. Not McCown’s fault in any way, shape, or form.

    I saw another pass from McCown that hit a receiver in the hands and was dropped. So there’s one of your 3 misses in that 7-10.

    Don’t care if you’re Peyton Manning- you’re never going to look good or win games if your receivers can’t pull something in that hits them in the hands.

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