Johnny Manziel stole the headlines during the Cleveland Browns preseason, and with today’s regular-season kickoff against the Pittsburgh Steelers he’s doing the same. Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer is officially the starter for today’s Steelers game at Heinz Field, but the Browns said they may go with a two-QB system. So will fans get to watch Manziel play in today’s Browns game after all?
They might. The Browns have lost 10 straight games at Heinz Field, so they’ll be looking to try something new. A two-QB system with Hoyer and Manziel would certainly fit that bill. Yet the Steelers haven’t won a season opener since 2010, so today’s Browns / Steelers game may be too hostile of an environment to play a rookie QB meaningful minutes.
The Browns and Steelers played twice last season, both resulting in a Pittsburgh win. The Browns racked up 660 combined yards against the Steelers in those two games, with wide receiver Josh Gordon accounting for a mind-boggling 319 of them. With Gordon serving a suspension, the Browns will rely on new weapons and Steelers miscues to leave Heinz Field with their first win in a decade.
Manziel aside, Cleveland’s biggest weapons are on defense. And that Browns defense will be going up against a Pittsburgh Steelers offense running at full speed. Literally.
Running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount, who both had marijuana run-ins during the preseason, are scheduled to play in today’s Browns game. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will still look to pass, but with both RBs on the field he won’t be leading a one-dimensional offense.
In the Steelers’ 20-7 victory over the Browns last December, Bell ran for 90 yards and a touchdown while Roethlisberger passed for 179 yards and had one touchdown to go with two interceptions. The game was ugly, but that’s Steelers football.
It was a far cry from their first meeting in November. In that game, which Pittsburgh won 27-11, Roethlisberger went 22-for-34 with 217 yards.
History says that today’s Browns / Steelers game holds another Pittsburgh win. Las Vegas says the same thing, with the Steelers a 6.5-point favorite over the Browns.
To see if the Steelers cover the spread, not to mention to see if Johnny Manziel makes his NFL debut, you can watch the game on TV on CBS. Kickoff is scheduled for 1pm EST / 10am PST. You can also watch Browns vs Steelers live free online streaming via DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket MAX package. That package requires a subscription, but all subscribers can watch the game online free via the DirecTV live stream if they’re stuck watching via their smartphone, tablet or PC.