The losing streak and poor form of Brian Hoyer are pushing the Cleveland Browns into making a decision that many fans have been waiting to hear: Johnny Manziel becoming the team’s starting quarterback very soon.
Hoyer is a quarterback that wins games, but his numbers (55.4% completion ratio, 11 touchdowns to 12 interceptions, 76.4 passer rating) aren’t exactly impressive. With the Browns losing 3 of their last four as they’re seeing their playoff hopes in the AFC North slipping away, his poor performances, which included two games of completing less than 50% of his passes, have been a lot more difficult to ignore by the coaching staff.
Mike Pettine, the head coach, has admitted that he’s having a tough time making a decision, leaning the other way all of a sudden. Hoyer’s way of directing this team on the field hasn’t been successful in the past month. Maybe it hasn’t been very good at all this season, but as long as the Browns were winning, it was very difficult to change the successful formula. Now that the losses are piling up with the Browns at 7-6, making a late season switch and giving Manziel the keys seems a bit more logical.
Hoyer has just one touchdown pass in the last five games, while throwing eight interceptions in the last four. He has led only one touchdown drive in his last 29 possessions. Against the Colts, the Browns lost 24-25. Hoyer was just 14-of-31 for 140 yards and two interceptions. The defense forced four turnovers and scored two touchdowns, but the Colts won the game on a last minute touchdown, sending the Browns to the bottom of their division.
Manziel has so far been the rock star without anything to show for it. Coming into the NFL, all the success in college is forgotten. He is getting plenty of TV time because cameras focus on him all the time, especially when Hoyer makes mistakes. But in terms of what he’s done on the field? Completing 5-of-9 passes and rushing for 13 yards overall in the few times he’s been on the field is nothing to really go by.
According to ESPN, Brian Hoyer is the only quarterback this season that has multiple games with zero pass touchdowns and two or more interceptions. It’s getting more and more difficult to hold off the bursting future than is Manziel. If the Browns know Hoyer isn’t going to stick around for the long run and his play is directly causing this team to lose games, the only choice that’s is left is to usher in the Manziel era, for better or worse.