Browns QB Johnny Manziel will get his first start in a game with major playoff implications.
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The Cleveland Browns take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 15 of the NFL season with playoff hopes on the line.
The Browns have not made the playoffs since 2002 and are in danger of seeing that drought continue if they don’t get a win this week. With QB Brian Hoyer struggling, head coach Mike Pettine had no choice but to bench him and plug in rookie QB Johnny Manziel, their first-round draft pick who has played in only a handful of drives this season. Whether he is ready to take the reins of the team or not is irrelevant, he is getting his start now with an offense that can’t really run the ball well but has a great set of receivers in WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron. The defense is also great with CB Joe Haden leading one of the best units in the league.
The Bengals have their fourth straight winning season for the first time in franchise history and it’s all thanks to another set of incredible seasons by QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green, but the emergence of rookie RB Jeremy Hill has certainly kept the Bengals playoff hopes alive when their two stars have been either injured or struggling. At 8-5-1, the Bengals currently lead the competitive AFC North in the division title race, and with games still to play against the Broncos and Steelers in the final two weeks, they will need this win in order to keep control of their own destiny.
Prediction: Bengals – Johnny Manziel will probably play a great game, but ultimately the Bengals offense will come to life and squeeze the life out of the Browns: slowly, and with a lot more patience than the Browns are able to contend with. This could very well be the game that ends the Browns playoff hopes.