Johnny Manziel’s first start in the Canadian Football League was a disaster of epic proportions. Manziel threw four interceptions and was benched in the fourth quarter with his Montreal Alouettes trailing his former team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 47-3.
After the game, Manziel said it was a difficult step on his football journey.
“I think we got beat so bad, things went so bad, so quick that even throughout the game, even when I was in there, I just kept telling myself that this is a test, this is the football gods humbling me,” Manziel said. “You come up here, it’s not the NFL, it’s the CFL, it’s different. You expect to do well. It’s what I’ve been accustomed to in college and had some moments in the NFL. Then you come up here and it’s not what you expected or are used to, it’s a different place. This game humbles you.”
Alouettes head coach Mike Sherman indicated that Manziel will remain the starter next week, so it’s not time to pull the plug on the Johnny Football Canadian Experience just yet. But his first start did raise questions about just how ready he is to play football at a high level. Manziel did show occasional flashes, but the stats don’t lie: Manziel finished the game 11-for-20 for 104 yards, with no touchdowns and four interceptions, plus two rushes for four yards.
Manziel’s first game in Canada was a train wreck. He doesn’t only have a long way to go before he’s good enough to play in the NFL. He also has a long way to go before he’s good enough for the CFL.