Inside the Huddle – Weekend Update 12/1 – Here’s Johnny!

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A frustrated coach, Mike Pettine watched his Cleveland Browns fall 26-10 to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, November 31st, 2014. Quarterback Brian Hoyer started the game for the Browns but struggled as he threw two interceptions and managed to lead the Browns offense to only  a field goal through three quarters of play. Finally, just minutes into the fourth quarter, coach Mike Pettine stopped Hoyer from returning to the field and Johnny Manziel rose from the bench with his helmet on to take the field and get his first NFL action in the regular season. The Browns were down 20-3 when Manziel entered the game with about six minutes left to play. Manziel immediately looked sharp, and he promptly lead the Browns down the field on an 80-yard drive that resulted in a 10-yard touchdown rush to cut the Browns deficit to 20-10. This was Manziel’s first career NFL touchdown. Manziel watched on the sidelines for two straight Bills possessions as they managed only field goals and the Browns remained somewhat in the game. Although the Browns offense didn’t score again and ended up losing the game 26-10, coach Mike Pettine was happy about the overall production he received from his rookie under pressure. Manziel finished the game going 5 of 8 passing for 63 yards and rushing for another 13 yards on the ground, including his touchdown.

So now the question still remains: will Johnny Manziel start for the Browns at quarterback next week against the Indianapolis Colts? Coach Mike Pettine has indicated in numerous interviews that he has not yet made up his mind about the quarterback but that he is indeed open to starting Manziel. If Pettine was to go ahead and give Johnny Manziel the nod to be the starter next week, this would seem to have tremendous playoff implications for the Browns in an already crowded AFC North division that had all of its teams at .500 or better. The standings in the AFC North look as follows: Bengals at 8-3, Ravens at 7-5, Steelers at 7-5, then the Browns, also at 7-5. As you can see, the Ravens, Steelers, and Browns are all bunched up and vying for the wildcard spot in the AFC playoffs. Since all the AFC North teams played yesterday and the Bengals were the only ones that came out winners. This moved them into sole possession of 1st place in the AFC North. The Browns, who were leading the division, lost the lead after just one game and fell to last place, much like the other teams who lead the division by only one game and then lost the lead because of one loss. This division is extremely close and as has been the case all year long, it’s a one game lead in the AFC North and the division lead is still up for grabs.

Will Johnny Manziel start for the Cleveland Browns next week as they march towards the playoffs? I absolutely believe so. This would be what the fans of the Browns have been waiting for all year long, and Johnny showed that he can perform in the clutch. He did it in college, and he’s going to do it now. It’s Johnny football time, so here we go. Here’s Johnny!

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