Well, that certainly didn't go as planned...
The Johnny Manziel era is off to a rocky start. Some national media seem to be gloating this week, saying they 'told us so.' One start is exactly that, one start. So while many people are piling on the Browns and Johnny Manziel, the truth is we still don't know what we have in Johnny Manziel.
In the interim, let's take a look and see where the national media are ranking the Browns this week.
AFC North still up for grabs
The Steelers and Ravens both got crucial wins to keep pace with the Bengals, who remain a half-game ahead in the AFC North. This will be a race to the finish and there's very little separating these three teams from a talent and position standpoint. The Ravens finish with games at Houston and then at home against the Browns, while the Steelers host the Chiefs and Bengals. Cincy has to face the Broncos before heading to Pittsburgh to wrap up the regular season, so, holy crap, this is going to get interesting.
"Manziel was shockingly bad on Sunday, but let's keep the big picture in mind. If the Browns threw him out there for the last three games and planned to make that a referendum on whether Manziel could make it in the NFL, they're fools. He can't be judged on three games when he's not ready yet. At least, he shouldn't be."
"The Johnny Football era got off to a horrible start. But it was his first start, and it was the right decision to play him."
"Johnny Goose Egg?"
"Everyone thought they'd see Johnny Manziel running around making plays. After the rookie's first interception, I was wondering what was running around in his head ...
These guys are faster than the DBs at Rice. Gee willikers. ... Ah, heck. Shake it off, man -- Hoyer would have two of those by now. ... Next time I'm in Vegas, I've got to see "Absinthe." Hear that show is killer.."
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Not too much has changed since last week. Dropping a few points makes sense. Johnny was bad Sunday, but there were equally bad performances around the whole team.
The Browns aren't mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but they're cooked. Cleveland has the last two games to see what Johnny can do. I'm very interested to see how he responds on the road.
What do you all think, fair rankings this week?