He may only get three weeks to show what he’s learned over the course of the season, but Johnny Manziel will reportedly start the Cleveland Browns’ impending contest against the Cincinnati Bengals. This news was first reported by FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer.
Recall that it was also Glazer who had the news of Brian Hoyer being named starter for this past Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. Hoyer thanked Mike Pettine for believing in him by putting together yet another abysmal performance littered with three-and-outs, interceptions and at least two downfield passes that would have otherwise netted six points if not for being thrown at least 10 yards past the targeted receiver. Cleveland, in turn, lost the contest 25-24 despite getting 14 points from its defense.
Hoyer was 1-3 over the last four games, posting a 1:8 TD-to-INT ratio while leading the playoff-starved Browns to one touchdown on their last 29 drives. Pro Football Focus categorized this four-game stretch as one of the worst in the history of the site’s existence. When Manziel came on in relief of an ineffective Hoyer Week 13, he promptly led an 80-yard touchdown drive that was finished off with a 10-yard rushing touchdown. On 130 preseason snaps (roughly two games), he rushed 12 times for 88 yards with another score. He is expected to provide the team with a much-needed spark while math is still on their side.
Earlier this week, a source “connected to the Browns’ quarterback situation” estimated to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora that there’s a “99 percent chance” Johnny Manziel starts in Week 15. It appears that Glazer found that extra one percent.
[Related: WFNY Podcast — Serial, Manziel, and Moss]