Oakland Raiders: Keys To Victory Over Cleveland Browns

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Sep 20, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) toss the game ball after defeating the Tennessee Titans 28-14 at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Get Ready For Johnny Football

Having passed through and being cleared by the NFL’s concussion protocol, Josh McCown is resuming his starting role for Cleveland. Reportedly, Johnny Manziel is not happy about that, especially after having led the Browns to a win last week – ignoring the fact of course, that it was a win against the Titans.

We would also need to overlook the fact that Manziel didn’t do a whole lot. Nor was he asked to. Against Tennessee, Manziel was eight for fifteen for 172 yards and two scores. By all accounts, he had a pretty decent game. And he most definitely had some memorable moments. He was able to extend plays with his legs and hit his open receivers. For not being asked to do much, Manziel looked pretty good.

But Cleveland is going with McCown. For now. It’s not outside the realm of possibility to believe that the Browns are going to have McCown on a very short leash. If he struggles and is ineffective against the Raiders defense, Pettine could very well bench him in favor of Johnny Foobtall.

Or, Pettine could of course, have some special packages for Manziel in Cleveland’s game plan this week. Oakland would be wise to plan for seeing Manziel at some point during their game. They would be wise to develop a strategy for containing him.

Why should Oakland worry about Johnny Football taking the field?

Because Manziel brings an element to the Browns that McCown doesn’t – speed and an ability to use his legs to make plays. The defensive front would have to worry about not overpursuing and making sure to wrap him up to bring him down. Manziel is a gifted athlete and he’s made more than one NFL defender look silly in his brief time in the league. They cannot let him work his magic back there. They have to put him down the minute they have him in their crosshairs or he has the ability to make them pay.

Oakland would do well to plan on seeing Manziel during the game and having a plan to stop him.

Next: Raiders Notes & Observations From Week 1