When the man who broke a record for having nearly 2,000 receiving yards in a single season is in the house and the attention is instead on a rookie quarterback, it is truly outstanding. Johnny Manziel has created such a buzz around the NFL, I wonder how many people realized that Calvin Johnson (a top three player in the league) didn’t even play for the Lions in Manziel’s first NFL game.
That is the type of entertainment Manziel brings to the NFL. Even before the game began, he was a trending topic.
The “Johnny Football” era in the NFL has now begun.
The Detroit Lions welcomed Manziel and gave him his introduction into to the NFL. Everyone watched Brian Hoyer early in the game (who played fairly well) but the anticipation was all because of the debut of Manziel.
Finally when Manziel came into the game with 7:32 remaining in the 2nd quarter, the NFL realm was ready to see greatness, and they were not disappointed.
Manziel dazzled and excited as he scrambled for long yardage plays. He had runs of nine yards and sixteen yards during the game. This is the one aspect people can appreciate most about his game, he can extend the play because of his ability to evade defenders. Manziel showcased that on the football field that he has skills and abilities that Brian Hoyer simply does not have.
Though he can scramble, Manziel often times remained in the pocket and looked for open receivers. He took a few hits (he needs to take a lot less) but he got up and succeeded. He clearly looked comfortable and ready to become the lead signal caller for the Cleveland Browns.
What made Manziel have a sense of comfort was the play calling that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan used.
At times he had Manziel run plays that were unsuccessful and pretty gruesome to watch, including an option play to the left that got swallowed up by three Detroit defenders. Shanahan later called better plays, moving Johnny Football outside of the pocket and utilizing him within the shotgun formation.
One of the plays called that Shanahan called was a play action pass that Manziel threw a strike on.
Working on throwing more to the checkdown receiver is an aspect of his game that needs working on moving forward. One play, Manziel scrambled for a first down on a 4th down play where he ran about twenty yards to get one yard.
It was a valiant effort, however, he missed his fullback who was wide open. Sooner than later, teams will catch him and pop him hard. He either will not make the play, or he will get injured.
Mostly everything Manziel did was fine and it looks as if Brian Hoyer should start getting a bit nervous because the rookie held his own on the field. Manziel led the Browns in passer rating, completion percentage and in rushing.
Johnny Manziel is done for the night. Final line: 7-11, 63 yards, 6 rush, 27 yards
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 10, 2014
There are a lot of talking heads that feel as if Manziel will fail. However, there are more for him then there are against him.
The next game Manziel will play is in Washington against the Redskins and Robert Griffin III on Monday night, which will be an entertaining matchup.