Johnny Manziel’s impressive debut for the Browns has led many to believe that he has earned a chance to get more playing time with the first team offense.
With the last four preseason games of Week 1 all wrapped up, it’s time to take a look back at a few important things we learned from the eight teams that played:
The Tennessee Titans have a good complement of RBs – There have been many doubters about the Titans chances of success in 2014, some of which stem from the transition from Chris Johnson to a crowded backfield of underachievers with Shonn Greene, Bishop Sankey and Jackie Battle. All three backs ran in for a TD against the Packers on Saturday and together they could give the Titans the boost they need in the running game to take the edge of oft-injured QB Jake Locker.
The NY Giants have the RBs they been missing – When Andre Williams played well against the Bills in the Hall of Fame game many though he was a lock to be named the starter, but after Rashad Jennings’ incredible run against the Steelers on Saturday, suddenly the Giants have what looks like a strong tandem in the backfield – something the Giants have been missing for the last few years.
The Houston Texans desperately need Arian Foster back – The Texans have not won a single game since Arian Foster suffered a season ending injury against the Colts in 2013 (granted they were already in the midst of a six-game losing streak). While Foster continues to recover and should be ready to go by the start of the season, the sad truth is that the Texans have seemingly nothing on offense that can work at all if they don’t have an effective running game.
The Cleveland Browns will miss Josh Gordon, regardless of time – Browns WR Josh Gordon played very well in his limited game time on Saturday, making two catches for 32 yards. And that may be part of the problem: With Gordon’s impending suspension, the team will be hard pressed to find anyone that can have the kind of strong impact in the passing game besides maybe TE Jordan Cameron. Without Gordon in the game, it may not matter who the Browns have at QB.
Johnny Manziel is ready for a bigger workload – After showing off his strong arm and his elusiveness in the read-option game, Johnny Manziel made be closing in on the Browns starting QB role sooner than expected. He will start the next preseason game against Washington, and then head coach Mike Pettine will allegedly make his decision on who the starter is before the third preseason game. For Manziel to truly flourish and get his fair chance, Pettine needs to give him more reps with the first team between now and the third game.