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NFL: Johnny Manziel Lifts Browns Over Marcus Mariota, Titans

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Johnny Manziel earned his first win in the NFL as the Browns defeated the Tennessee Titans 28-14. Manziel completed just 8 passes but two of them resulted in touchdown passes . The second year quarterback out of Texas A/M said, “I just want to say it’s one game, there are some things I could have done better.” Manziel threw for 172 yards and two touchdowns.

The Browns drew first blood as Manziel threw a 50 yard touchdown to Travis Benjamin (three receptions, 115 yards and two touchdowns). Benjamin also returned a punt for a touchdown before halftime to extend the Browns lead to 21-0. Benjamin looks like a candidate for AFC North player of the Week award after the strong performance.

The ground game was impressive. Isaiah Crowell rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown. Duke Johnson, the rookie out of the University of Miami, rushed for 43 yards.

The offensive line did not allow much penetration and there were only a few penalties unlike the dismal number against the New York Jets.

The defense sacked Marcus Mariota seven times and limited the Titans offense to two scores after they scored 42 against Tampa Bay last week. The Titans lost three fumbles. Mariota passed the ball efficiently as he threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns. However, Mariota was under way too much pressure to pass for more touchdowns. He was not able to make the same quick strikes against the Browns defense. Cleveland’s defense was far more physical than the Buccaneers defense. Despite the top-tier performance that Mariota displayed, he was uncomfortable on several possessions. He also limped at times as he took a beating.

The Browns defense wasn’t able to slow down the Titans ground attack. In fact, the rush defense looked about as bad as the opening loss to the Jets. Dexter McCluster ran for 98 yards and Bishop Sankey ran for 42 yards. On a  positive note for the Browns, the defense made sure McCluster and Sankey did not score.

After their dismal 31-10 loss to the Jets, the Browns weren’t expected to win. Is Manziel finally developing into the NFL quarterback the Browns envisioned?


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