BEREA, OH —Northeast Ohio is experiencing its first ‘Victory Monday’ in two months after the Browns snapped a 7-game losing streak on Sunday by beating the San Francisco 49’ers 24-10. But the news on Monday was not happy concerning defensive back Joe Haden, who has been placed on the injured reserve for the rest of the 2015 season with a concussion, Fox 8’s PJ Ziegler has confirmed.
Quarterback Johnny Manziel played a big part in Sunday’s win, his second win of the season as starting quarterback.
“Overall, he made good decisions,” said head coach Mike Pettine. “He was accurate with the football and when he could stay in the pocket, he did and made plays, and there were times – we all saw – he has that special ability to extend the play and was able to do that numerous times with solid success. Overall, I think it was a good day for him.”
Manziel made his fourth start of the season and took advantage of the best running game the Browns have had all year. Cleveland rushed for 230 yards, the most by the Browns since 2010. Manziel threw for 270 yards, he had 1 interception, 1 touchdown and he extended plays by using his scramble ability. It’s those kinds of plays that impresses TE Gary Barnidge.
“I think the way he can make the play continue because the play is never over,” Barnidge said. “He can make so many things happen with his legs. He is able to continue plays from four to six, seven seconds. That is tough for a defense to cover anyone that long.”
Manziel was making his first start in over a month and was prepared to handle whatever San Francisco defensive coordinator Eric Mangini and the 49’ers were about to throw at him. He’s earning the trust of his teammates on the field despite his well-documented off-field issues.
“Here’s a guy that shows up to work every day excited, puts in his preparation. He grinds in the meeting room. He asks great questions, brings up good points and guys respect that they can tell when he talks that he’s getting into that information when he’s out of the building,” Pettine said. “It carries over to the practice field. They see a guy that is competitive, that wasn’t to win, goes out works hard on the practice field and then it carried over in the game.”
The Browns played a complete game for the first time this season on both sides of the ball. The defense sacked 49’ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert 9 times on Sunday, the most by any NFL team in a game this season. The nine sacks also tied for the second-most in a game in Browns history.
“I think we just trusted each other,” said Browns linebacker Armonty Bryant. “It felt like you didn’t have to look at the guy next to you to tell him what he had to do because he had and was able to make that play.”
At 3-10 the Browns face their toughest test of the season when they travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks on Sunday. Seattle has won 6 of their last 7 games and is home to one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL.
“We know that this is a formidable opponent in one of the most hostile environments in the league,” Pettine said. “We’re going to go up there and cut it loose.”
The question is, will the Browns let Johnny cut it loose as well?