For only the second time this season, the Cleveland Browns are about to start Johnny Manziel, while their season once again heads into the forgotten oblivion of not making the playoffs.
Josh McCown isn’t going to be ready in time for the Thursday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals, which means Manziel is going to play for a fifth time this season. On one of those appearances he actually started, the Browns won one of their two games this season. Manziel actually managed to avoid throwing an interception in that game (8-of-15) and had two touchdown passes. Overall this season he has completed 56% of his passes with three touchdowns and one interception.
One problem thought: Manziel won that game against the Tennessee Titans, arguably the worst team in the NFL this season. And we all saw what it’s like for a quarterback to be up against the Bengals this season. Even Ben Roethlisberger (coming off an injury) found it overwhelming. The Browns have a pretty good offensive line, but considering how bad they are all around, it won’t be surprising if Manziel has a very long and rough day.
The Browns aren’t expecting to win too many games in the second half of this season, falling to 2-6 in another disappointing year that will lead to more rebuilding and maybe taking a different direction. The team tried trading away anyone who has any kind of value in terms of draft picks over the last few days, but couldn’t get anything big done on the deadline. Joe Thomas was close to finding himself playing for the Denver Broncos, but the deal was too complicated in terms of compensation and Thomas being requested to restructure his deal.