Thursday could be Johnny Manziel’s last opportunity to prove himself in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Browns at Bengals
Johnny Manziel is starting for the Cleveland Browns. Manziel doesn’t need to win, but a solid showing is a must. At this point, given the off-the-field headaches Manziel has given the Browns, another poor performance would doom Manziel’s future in Cleveland. Though Manziel showed signs of improvement earlier in the season, he hasn’t done enough to prove he’s a capable starting quarterback in the NFL.
Obviously, that’s bad news for the Browns and their fans considering Manziel was a 1st round pick just two years ago. Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr were both drafted after Manziel. Both Bridgewater and Carr start for their respective teams. Both sport winning records this season. Manziel can’t even get on the field for a 2-6 team without an injury to Josh McCown.
Manziel needs Thursday night to rescue his flailing professional career. Anything he can do to prove he belongs in the NFL will go a long way. It may not save his career in Cleveland, but it may entice other teams to roll the dice with him down the road. Though the Bengals are undefeated, their defense isn’t exactly a lockdown unit. They’re a middle of the pack defense that doesn’t do one thing exceptionally well. It’s not an ideal opponent when facing a life-or-death career moment, but it’s not a nightmare matchup, either. BENGALS If I were Charles Barkley; Bengals -11