The great experiment of the Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel platoon system failed miserably during Cleveland’s Monday night game against the Washington Redskins. Even though Robert Griffin III was on the other sideline, all eyes were on the most famous quarterback competition in this year’s training camp.
Washington held off a furious rally by Cleveland and a two point conversion to win 24-23. Robert Griffin III completed 6 of 8 passes for 112 yards and one terrible interception to Joe Haden. Griffin also hurt himself trying to slide during one of his rushing attempts.
Prior to the game Cleveland’s second preseason game, Coach Pettine stated that he would name a week one starter by mid-week. It should be apparent to everyone in the Cleveland organization that they are not close to naming a starting quarterback.
As bad as Cleveland’s numbers were in the first half, they still didn’t tell the story of how poorly the offense played. Whether it was drops or missed connections, Brian Hoyer only completed 2 of 6 passes for 16 yards. He received the first two series of the game, but both ended up with a three and out.
Soon after, Johnny Manziel made an appearance, yet he didn’t fare much better. As time moved on, Manziel faced Washington’s second string, and salvaged his numbers by throwing a touchdown. However, there’s no way to sugar coat 7 of 16 passing for 65 yards.
Johnny Manziel didn’t have any success running the ball either. He ran for minus one yard in his only official attempt of the game. During the post game press conference, Manziel stated, “this was like my first game in college. I was really hesitant.”
Although he wasn’t able to connect on many passes in the first half, Manziel did flip the bird to the Washington bench after escaping out of the pocket. Initially, the “sign language” was caught on the ESPN cameras without any acknowledgement on air. Johnny Manziel said “he must handle things better” when opponents begin to trash talk him throughout the game.
Once the Browns watch the film and get back to work, it’s in everybody’s best interest to let the quarterback competition play out for one more week. They shouldn’t be in a rush to come to a hasty decision.
Unfortunately for Cleveland, fellow rookie Connor Shaw flourished during his fourth quarter playing time. He was 8 of 9 passing for 123 yards and one touchdown. Of course Shaw was playing against all back ups, but he really looked poised in his first ever NFL action.