Playing well or not, Johnny Manziel is always the center of attention. His reaction to taunting from the Washington Redskins bench was his most impressive feat as the Cleveland Browns lost 24-23, as both he and Brian Hoyer failed to show who deserves to be a starter next season, while nothing extraordinary was seen from Robert Griffin III as well.
Manziel did throw a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to Dion Lewis but his numbers and stats looked very bad while the Redskins’ starters on defense were still playing. Brian Orakpo made fun of Manziel from the sidelines with his “money” gesture, which led Manziel to show him and his teammates the middle finger. He wasn’t penalized while playing for that reaction, but the NFL will probably fine him once they review the tape.
The points only started coming in the second quarter, but Griffin didn’t throw a touchdown pass and was intercepted once just like Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. He finished with 6-of-8 for 112 yards and also burst out rushing for 24 yards on four carries. Cousins did throw a touchdown pass, and also completed 12-of-21 passes for 145 yards. McCoy struggled with 2-of-6 for 73 yards but also completed a touchdown pass to Nick Williams.
There was a lot more to worry about for the Browns, who are still undecided about who’ll be their starter. Brian Hoyer started in this game but completed only 2-of-6 passes for 16 yards. Manziel finished with 7-of-16 for 65 yards and a touchdown while staying in the pocket most of the time, but he was 2-of-7 against the starting defense of Washington. Hoyer was just 0-of-2 against the starting defense.
The Redskins got a good look at rookie wide receiver Ryan Grant, who caught four passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. Running back Lache Seastrunk was also quite impressive, gaining 35 yards on seven carries, while Alfred Morris struggled moving the chains, gaining only 29 yards on 11 carries. The Browns were quite happy with their own new addition at running back, Ben Tate, who carried the ball 10 times for 51 yards.
The Redskins should be pleased with their pass rush, getting five sacks including three on Manziel who looked completely out of sync with his wide receivers. However, four turnovers in one game, including one that was returned for a touchdown by Jim Leonhard makes their 2-0 record in the preseason seem a bit less important compared to the problems still plaguing the team. The Browns, on the other hand, have both the problems and the bad record.