Browns Name Johnny Manziel Week 15 Starter
Johnny Football officially arrives in week 15. Per Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, the Cleveland Browns have finally made the climatic change under center, reportedly officially turning to rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel for what figures to be the remainder of the season.
Manziel had briefly replaced Hoyer in week 13 and played well enough in one quarter to force head coach Mike Pettine to consider a change going into week 14. The Browns decided to give Hoyer one last chance, but after another shaky performance in last week’s loss, the 7-6 Browns arguably had no other choice but to make the switch.
The change simply had to be made, as the veteran Hoyer was falling apart and could not finish drives with touchdowns. He specifically had issues connecting with stud receiver Josh Gordon, while he also turned into a turnover machine after taking terrific care of the football earlier in the year. With the playoffs on the line and the offense going nowhere, the Browns finally saw that even though Manziel isn’t guaranteed to be the answer, staying with Hoyer just wasn’t an option.
Hope With Manziel
Turning to Manziel now might invoke “too little, too late” language, and that might be so. However, the young potential franchise passer could also be the exact spark a dormant Cleveland offense (one touchdown in last 29 drives). If Manziel can be that positive difference the Browns are hoping he can be, it could potentially help the team close the season out strong by winning their final three games. Although the AFC North is extremely competitive this year, a 10-6 finish could be enough to win the division crown, or at least be enough to sneak in as a wild card team.
Manziel gets his chance to prove himself and get that run rolling in week 15, when the Cincinnati Bengals come to town. Should Manziel play well and lead Cleveland to victory, the Browns would own a 2-0 season series sweep over Cincinnati, and would ultimately hold the tiebreaker if both teams ended the year with equivalent records (Cincy has a tie in their record).
The Browns also face the Baltimore Ravens in the week 17 season finale, which could potentially be a winner-take-all contest for the division. While there are no guarantees with Manziel, it’s clear that he has a lot of upside and injects some life, at least for the moment, into the entire franchise. Naturally, that should improve Cleveland’s playoff odds and give them a chance to close out the season on a positive note.
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