In his second season with the Cleveland Browns, backup quarterback Johnny Manziel lead his team to a 28-14 win against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
The Browns were coming off a tough loss last week against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Browns starting quarterback, Josh McCown suffered a concussion in the closing minutes of the second quarter last week on a diving attempt on the goal line. He was hit by two Jets defenders, causing him to fumble the football and go airborne in the end zone, hitting the ground hard.
Tennessee Titans starting rookie quarterback, Marcus Mariota didn’t do as well as he did on Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mariota did not throw an interception, but he did fumble twice as Cleveland’s pass rush defense was quite intimidating versus the Titans offensive line. He had two passing touchdowns for 257 yards on 37 passing attempts. Manziel also threw two touchdowns and passed for 172 yards on 15 passing attempts with only eight completions throughout the day.
Browns head coach Mike Pettine was very impressed with Manziel’s play on Sunday and is still unsure who will be the starting quarterback. Josh McCown is still in concussion protocol, and Pettine said he will be examined on Tuesday and could possibly return to practice on Wednesday. Pettine was very content with how far Manziel has come as a quarterback. “I’m proud of him, because if you would have said back early in the offseason, if this was going to happen, I think a lot of people would have said it’s a pretty slim chance.”
Manziel has found his favorite target on Cleveland in Travis Benjamin, who had a stellar performance with two touchdowns and 115 receiving yards on only three receptions. After McCown went down last week, Manziel took over and launched a 54-yard bomb to, guess who, Benjamin. These two are establishing an underrated yet effective connection for Cleveland’s offense.
Cleveland’s next game is at home against the Oakland Raiders, who are coming off a remarkable win against the Baltimore Ravens. The Browns will prepare for that matchup while the starting quarterback job remains up in the air. If healthy by Wednesday, McCown may get the start against Oakland.