After almost a year and a half after being selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft and nearly three years after winning the Heisman Trophy at Texas A&M, Johnny Manziel finally won his first professional football game 28-14 over the Tennessee Titans.
In place of a concussed Josh McCown, the former Aggie quarterback amassed 172 yards on 8-for-15 passing with two touchdowns.
Manziel, who became the first freshman in NCAA history to win the Heisman after he accounted for an SEC-record 4,600 total yards, hit receiver Travis Benjamin on both of his touchdowns, and they went for more than 50 yards. Browns head coach Mike Pettine said the second score to Benjamin brought back memories of the college Manziel.
"It was vintage Manziel," Pettine said to the media after the game. "When a play breaks down that is what he brings."
On third down and the Browns clinging to a 21-14 lead, Manziel spun away from a blitz, ran left, set his feet and fired a bomb to Benjamin that resulted in a 50-yard touchdown and sealed the win for Cleveland.
This is a positive sign for Manziel, who was widely labeled as a bust after floundering in two starts last year and already dealing with a multitude of off-field questions in his short career.
“To be sitting here today and just have an ultimate turnaround from what it was in the first two starts I had last year, personally it feels awesome,” Manziel said to the media after the game. “I think I'm getting better, still missed some things that I'm going to be hard on myself about tomorrow."