• My Scores
  • NHL
  • NFL
  • NBA
  • NCAA BB
  • NCAA FB

Cleveland at Washington

Manziel's gesture taints Browns' loss to Redskins

By JOSEPH WHITE
AP Sports Writer
  •  

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Johnny Manziel raised his middle finger toward the Washington Redskins bench as he returned to the huddle late in the third quarter. It was one of the few times a Cleveland Browns quarterback actually found his intended target.

Manziel's latest hand gesture was one of many lowlights for the Browns in a 24-23 Monday night loss that did little to make coach Mike Pettine's decision any easier when it comes to selecting a Week 1 starter.

If the choice is based solely on numbers, there's not much either Manziel or Brian Hoyer did to show he deserves the job. If it's based on composure, the hot-shot rookie's obscene gesture lost him some ground to the nondescript sixth-year veteran.

''It does not sit well,'' Pettine said. ''It's disappointing, because what we talk about is being poised and being focused. ... That's a big part of all football players, especially the quarterback.''

Manziel called the moment a ''lapse of judgment.'' Teammate Joe Haden said opposition fans and players were giving ''Johnny Football'' plenty of unprintable verbal grief for the second straight week. Manziel was openly mocked by Brian Orakpo when the Redskins linebacker raised both hands and performed the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner's ''money'' gesture after a sack by Ryan Kerrigan in the first quarter.

''I get words exchanged throughout the entirety of the game, every game, week after week, and I should've been smarter,'' Manziel said. ''It was a `Monday Night Football' game and cameras were probably solid on me, and I just need to be smarter about that. ... It's there, and it's present every game, and I just need to let it slide off my back and go to the next play.''

Meanwhile, Pettine needs to pick a quarterback. The performances were so unspectacular that the coach suggested he might audible from his previously stated plan of announcing his regular-season starter on Tuesday.

''All the options are still on the table,'' Pettine said.

Hoyer started Monday night and completed 2 of 6 passes for 16 yards. His self-assessment: ''It probably couldn't have been any worse. It's disappointing. It was embarrassing.''

Manziel, the No. 22 overall pick in the draft, was 7 for 16 for 65 yards and a touchdown. Of his series early in the game, he said: ''I really tried to force everything and not let it fly like I should have. I need to get better at that and throw the dang ball.''

Those stats, as mediocre as they are, were padded by series against the Redskins' backups. In the first quarter - when Washington's starters were in the game - Manziel was 2 for 7 for 29 yards, while Hoyer was 0 for 2.

''They both missed some throws,'' Pettine said.

If there's any hint as to which way Pettine is leaning, it's worth noting that Hoyer started for the second consecutive game and played mostly with the first-team offense, while Manziel was sent out with the backups to play in the second half. Manziel took advantage by leading a 16-play, 68-yard drive capped by an 8-yard pass to Dion Lewis for Cleveland's first touchdown.

The sloppy game included 21 penalties and five turnovers. The Browns were particularly susceptible to the NFL's new emphasis on hindering receivers: Cleveland's defense was whistled five times for holding or illegal contact in the first quarter alone, including twice on one play.

The Redskins don't have a quarterback competition, but their former Heisman winner - Robert Griffin III - also needs some work to get to regular-season form. He finished 6 for 8 for 112 yards, including an off-balance throw that was picked off by Haden.

''I just can't throw it late,'' Griffin said. ''And if I do, it has to be a humdinger - and it wasn't a humdinger. I kind of floated it out there.''

Designed QB runs are being marginalized under new Redskins coach Jay Gruden, but Griffin was nevertheless hit hard several times as he scrambled four times for 24 yards and earned a thigh bruise along the way.

''It's nothing to worry about,'' Griffin said. ''I know anything that happens with me - or quarterbacks in general - guys get a little worried.''

Notes: Browns WR Travis Benjamin left with a rib injury. ... At least the game had an exciting ending. Connor Shaw hit Emmanuel Ogbuehi on a 45-yard Hail Mary as time expired. The Browns' 2-point conversion attempt failed.

---

AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

Related Video

December 22, 2014
Browns at Ravens Preview (3:01)
December 21, 2014
Questions surrounding Manziel
(1:25)
December 16, 2014
We Need To Talk: Johnny Manziel's poor 1st start
(1:59)
December 15, 2014
NFL Monday QB: Manziel's NFL debut
(2:59)
Mon. Aug. 18Final
0302023
0771024
BrownsRedskins
Pass: C. Shaw (8-9, 123) K. Cousins (12-21, 145)
Rush: B. Tate (10-51) L. Seastrunk (7-35)
Rec: E. Ogbuehi (1-45) A. Roberts (2-54)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
None
2ND QUARTER
FGBilly Cundiff makes 29 yard kick. Drive: 4 plays, 4 yards in 1:01.
TDEvan Royster runs for 2 yards (Kai Forbath kick is good). Drive: 9 plays, 56 yards in 1:42.
3RD QUARTER
TDRyan Grant catches a 14 yard pass from Kirk Cousins (Zach Hocker kick is good). Drive: 8 plays, 60 yards in 4:21.
4TH QUARTER
TDDion Lewis catches a 8 yard pass from Johnny Manziel (Billy Cundiff kick is good). Drive: 16 plays, 68 yards in 8:15.
TDJim Leonhard makes 19 yard interception return (Billy Cundiff kick is good)..
FGKai Forbath makes 26 yard kick. Drive: 7 plays, 53 yards in 2:28.
TDNick Williams catches a 30 yard pass from Colt McCoy (Zach Hocker kick is good). Drive: 6 plays, 56 yards in 3:23.
TDEmmanuel Ogbuehi catches a 45 yard pass from Connor Shaw (Connor Shaw passes to Charles Johnson for a 2 Pt. Conversion - failed. Drive: 8 plays, 91 yards in 2:01.

CBSSports.com Shop

Men's New England Patriots Nike Navy Blue 2014 AFC East Division Champions T-Shirt

NFL Division Champs Gear
Get their favorite team gear
Shop Now

Cleveland
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
C. Shaw8/912310
J. Manziel7/166510
B. Hoyer2/61600
RushingATTYDSTDLG
B. Tate1051019
T. West83107
C. Shaw2906
D. Lewis4705
I. Crowell2303
J. Manziel1-10-1
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
E. Ogbuehi145145
T. Gabriel335022
W. Snead329015
M. Gray229017
J. Krause124024
A. Hawkins112012
G. Barnidge111011
J. Gordon1808
A. Armstrong1404
D. Lewis2418
C. Johnson1303
Washington
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
K. Cousins12/2114511
R. Griffin III6/811201
C. McCoy2/67311
RushingATTYDSTDLG
L. Seastrunk735012
A. Morris1129011
R. Griffin III424018
S. Redd519010
R. Helu3807
E. Royster1212
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
A. Roberts254049
R. Grant444115
R. Ross143043
D. Jackson234023
N. Williams130130
S. Moss124024
E. Royster124024
N. Paul222013
J. Reed220015
A. Robinson219012
D. Young1909
R. Helu1707
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
JAC 19 Final
CHI 20
KC 16 Final
CAR 28
BUF 16 Final
PIT 19
SD 14 Final
SEA 41
PHI 35 Final
NE 42
DET 26 Final
OAK 27
NYG 27 Final
IND 26
NYJ 25 Final
CIN 17
ARI 28 Final
MIN 30
TEN 24 Final
NO 31
GB 21 Final
STL 7
BAL 37 Final
DAL 30
MIA 20 Final
TB 14
ATL 7 Final
HOU 32
DEN 34 Final
SF 0