It may just be a preseason game, but tonight’s Monday Night Football game between the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins may be one of the most-anticipated MNF showdowns in years. And no, it’s not because Robert Griffin III (RG3) is running full steam. Tonight marks Johnny Manziel’s Monday Night Football debut, and although he won’t start, the prospect of seeing him play on a nationally televised game has rookie watchers frothing. Tonight’s MNF game will be broadcast as normal on ESPN, but there are several ways to watch Browns vs Redskins live online Monday Night Football game as well.
Quarterback Brian Hoyer, not Johnny Manziel, will start for the Cleveland Browns tonight. Browns Coach Mike Pettine has said, however, that Hoyer and Manziel will share reps with the first team, giving Monday Night Football fans something to look forward to.
One key reason fans and Browns coaches alike will be paying such close attention to the quarterback duel is because Cleveland plans to name its Week 1 starter on Tuesday. Considering that timeline it’s easy to wonder whether the coaching staff has already determined who’s going to start Week 1, but Pettine insists tonight’s MNF showdown will help make their decision.
Manziel didn’t play that well in the Browns’ first preseason game, but neither did Hoyer. Against the Lions last week Hoyer played the first quarter and half of the second, going 6-14 for 92 yards and two missed third-down conversions. By comparison, Manziel played until the fourth quarter and finished 7-11 for 63 yards. He also rushed six times for 27 yards, making him the Browns’ leading rusher.
Johnny Manziel didn’t seem too nervous going into tonight’s Redskins game, though he may just be saying the right things for the media.
I don’t think there’s any pressure for me,” he told ESPN. “I’m still learning. I’m still growing. … This is my second game. My expectations aren’t through the roof. It’s go out and compete extremely hard, be a leader for those guys, whatever group I’m with, and we’ll see what happens.”
The Redskins are also expecting to get a good look at their quarterback in tonight’s MNF game, though not to determine a starter. RG3 is without question the Redskins starter in Week 1, and he’ll likely get more reps tonight. In Week 1 against the Patriots, Griffin completed 2 of 4 passes for just nine yards in an 11-play drive. That series ended with a 39-yard field goal from Kai Forbath, and RG3 never returned.
He’ll undoubtedly see more reps tonight against the Browns defense, which ended last season in the bottom half of the NFL (17th). During that extended play the Washington coaching staff will get to see Griffin play with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, both of whom will play in tonight’s preseason Monday Night Football game after missing the first game.
Kickoff for tonight’s Browns vs Redskins Monday Night Football preseason showdown is scheduled for 8pm EST. You can watch tonight’s Browns vs Redskins game live online using the NFL Preseason Live service, which lets fans watch all out-of-market preseason NFL games for $19.99. If you’re an NFL Network subscriber, you can can also watch Johnny Manziel’s MNF debut via the NFL Online website. Just sign-in using your login info for your satellite or cable TV provider. Another way to watch live is via on ESPN3, which is also available through the ESPN mobile app and the ESPN app on the home video game consoles.