Nov 5, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) scrambles with the ball in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
About The Browns
I’ve said it nearly every week now, but Cincinnati showed the Browns (again) how important it is to have actual talent on the field. Browns WR Dwayne Bowe made his first 3 catches of the year, but Gabriel had a horrible night. WR Travis Benjamin also was unable to break away from the Cincinnati’s secondary.
Without a real game-breaker on offense, the Browns do not have anyone they can rely on to move the ball. The Browns were ninth in the NFL in passing offense when the game started, but that is so much more by volume than effectiveness since the run game is nonexistent. 32 TOTAL yards in the second half? Yikes.
It’s safe to say that Manziel will not be starting next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers if QB Josh McCown is healthy. He started 1/4 and ended 2/10 while taking a couple of bad sacks. I will readily admit that he does not have a lot to work with on offense, but McCown had looked just fine with the same roster.
Manziel’s line of 15-33, 168 yards, and 1 touchdown is not enough to keep the quarterback debate going. No, he did not turn the ball over and no, his teammates did not help much. It is safe to say we did not see anything from Manziel tonight to convince anyone that he can lead this team to a strong finish.
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If you have to point to one stat that caused the Browns to lose this game, it is that the Browns’ defense allowed the Bengals to go 8-14 on third down and Dalton to go a perfect 8-8 through the air on third down. The Bengals are the best team in the league in the red zone and they showed that when given chances.
The Bengals can tear a defense apart. 8-14 on 3rd down gives a team like Cincinnati too many opportunities to score. Even without S Donte Whitner and CB Joe Haden, the defense needed to do more, and frankly, has to do more to buoy a bad offense.
Next: Thursday Superlatives