Whether you loved or hated the draft pick that is Johnny Manziel, we got him. We’ve watched how he came to this town with an ego bigger than the city of Cleveland, and we watched as he was taken down a few pegs by the Bengals last November. Guess what? We’re going to see him mature now.
Setting aside the 30-9 butt-whooping that the Browns were handed Sunday, Manziel’s stats weren’t bad. In fact, a cursory view of his performance may excite a few fans. If you string together his first five performances, you’ll see that he’s comparable to Bridgewater and Carr even:
However, for those that watched the game Sunday will notice that the Browns did not stand a chance in the game. Manziel didn’t do anything to lose the game. No…that honor goes to the defense. What Manziel was supposed to bring to the game was his difference making abilities…and all I see is a serviceable quarterback.
It’s kind of frustrating to be labeled as a serviceable quarterback. Ask Brian Hoyer. It means that Manziel may show us flashes of greatness one series and then remind us why he hasn’t started until now the next. McCoy isn’t our qb of the future. I guess I can live with serviceable for now.
Maybe it’s because I see how many pieces we need just to be competitive, or maybe it’s just the undying hope of being a Cleveland fan. We need to either rebuild our defensive line and linebackers or teach our secondary to play man. You can not play man coverage exclusively when the defensive line is not getting pressure. You set everybody up for failure. Yesterday, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger played with Cleveland’s secondary by launching long ball after long ball as each corner was forced to become an island thanks to defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil’s schemes. The Steelers had 2 receivers go over 130 yards and got help from over 70 yards of pass interference calls (in one drive!) as well. Yeah the Browns didn’t allow 150 rushing yards for once but the Steelers didn’t need to run and didn’t try to. This was stat padding.
Offensively, the Browns moved the ball. If slow and steady was the gameplan, they stuck to it wonderfully. When you’re down 3 scores, 9 minute drives are just another nail in your coffin (especially when you toss an interception at the goal line on fourth down). The running game was non existent at best, and like the mismatched defense, I’m wondering if this offensive line can only pass block anymore. The perfect exclamation point on the day was Travis Benjamin’s drop of an easy touchdown late in the game.
The penalties are of great concern. Currently, we have 15 less penalty yards than rushing yards for the year (741 to 726). We get called for the dumbest penalties (How many fourth down mistakes will we make and give teams extra points?). We have the worst luck (Manziel scored on his scamper in the third but was marked down at the 1. We promptly got called for holding, false start, and then took a sack.). While this team wasn’t given all the way up, way too many guys are taking chances and costing their team dearly for it.
Thank God it’s a bye week.
We might be favored for once.