Johnny Manziel had a much better second game with the Montreal Alouettes than he did in his CFL debut.
USATSI

On Saturday night, Johnny Manziel woke up from his nightmare. After a disastrous CFL debut for the Montreal Alouettes a week ago, Manziel started his second game on Saturday night and flashed signs of progress.

In a 24-17 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks, Manziel completed 16 of 26 passes for 168 yards. Most importantly, he didn’t get picked off a week after throwing four interceptions in his first game with the Alouettes, who traded for Manziel last month.

“I mean, we didn’t turn the ball over, we didn’t throw four picks in the first half,” Manziel said, per ESPN. “Anything is better than last week.”

Manziel also rushed for 36 yards and nearly scored a touchdown on the ground, but he took a brutal hit at the goal line and fumbled. The loose ball was picked up for a touchdown by one of Manziel’s teammates. Still, this looks more like the Johnny Football we came to know during his career at Texas A&M. 

Some other highlights:

So, through two games, Manziel is now 27 of 36 for 272 yards, no touchdowns, and four picks. He’s averaging only 5.9 yards per attempt, so one would hope that more progress is on the way. At the very least, if Manziel is going to make his way back to the NFL, he’s going to need to show more than he has so far. 

Manziel, of course, finds himself in the CFL after two disappointing seasons with the Browns, during which he posted a 74.4 passer rating in 15 appearances. More concerning was what transpired off the field. In 2016, Manziel was accused of assaulting his then-girlfriend. After reaching a plea deal, the charges were later dismissed. Before landing in the CFL this year, Manziel revealed he’s been diagnosed with and treated for bipolar disorder and has gotten sober.

For Manziel to play again in the NFL, he’ll need to demonstrate improvement both on and off the field. And given everything that happened after the Browns drafted him, his road back to the NFL will likely be long.


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