Nover: Browns QBs and NFL Win Totals

Those who wagered over 6 1/2 wins on the Cleveland Browns season win total are happy with the decision. They like that Browns coach Mike Pettine is benching Johnny Manziel for veteran Josh McCown.

McCown suffered a concussion opening week, but has been cleared to play against Oakland at home on Sunday. Oddsmakers consider McCown worth one-half to one point better than Manziel.

I think the decision is short-sighted.

Agree that McCown is more savvy than “Johnny Football” and protects the ball better. I understand Pettine’s job is on the line and he needs every victory. The Browns currently are 3 1/2-point favorites. Cleveland may not be favored again for another 11 weeks – if at all.

Browns Should Be Lookng toward Future

But that’s my point on why the Browns should start Manziel. Where are they going this season? Absolutely nowhere.

Cleveland invested a first-round draft choice on the kid. See what he has. Manziel’s first year was wasted. Supposedly he’s more mature. The Browns aren’t going anywhere with McCown, a 36-year-old journeyman who is near the end.

The only coach who could coax anything out of McCown was quarterback guru Marc Trestman at Chicago when McCown filled in for injured Jay Cutler. The Bears had an outstanding running back, Matt Forte, and very good receivers.

Browns Skill PositionS Rank Near Bottom

The Browns don’t have any of that. Their skill position players rank with the Dez Bryant-less Cowboys and Arian Foster-less Texans as the worst in the NFL.

McCown doesn’t have a chance with these guys. Neither does Manziel to be honest. But at least Manziel has charisma and unbelievable mobility. Manziel made long touchdown throws to Travis Benjamin on plays McCown could only dream about.

Manziel actually is dangerous when breaking the pocket. Pettine is concerned about ball security. Manziel has already fumbled four times in the 1 1/2 games he’s played this season. But at least Manziel won’t go into a fetal position like McCown does every time he gets a whiff of a charging pass rusher.

The Browns needed Manziel’s big plays to beat Tennessee last week. Manziel could help lead the Browns past the Raiders, too. Oakland enters the Sunday afternoon matchup having lost 12 consecutive road games.


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