It was a debut that Browns fans had been waiting for since they called his name with the 22nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Sadly, Sunday’s debut at QB for Johnny Manziel could not have gone worse.
Rattled early on by an aggressive Bengals defense clearly playing with a chip on their shoulder, the Bengals crushed Manziel and the Browns, taking home an easy 30-0 win in Cleveland.
The Browns have fallen apart, hitting rock bottom Sunday with their fourth loss in their last five games. They also end the year with three straight home losses, falling to the Texans, Colts and now Cincinnati.
Manziel ran for his life most of the day, and ended the day going for just 10-for-18 for 80 yards and two picks. He was sacked three times, and ended with 13 yards on five carries.
“He didn’t play well, he looked like a rookie,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said. “He made some obvious mistakes that typically a veteran quarterback won’t make.”
The Browns run D wasn’t much better than Manziel, as Bengals rookie Jeremy Hill rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bengals slammed the Browns on the field and in the boxscore, recording their first shutout since Dec. 21, 2008 – in Cleveland.
Cincinnati put up 347 yards to Cleveland’s 107. The Bengals picked up 24 first downs to five for the Browns, who went just 1 of 10 on third down.
Mike Nugent kicked two 44-yard field goals and added a 34-yarder for the Bengals, who turned a day of promise and potential for the Browns into Cleveland’s worst nightmare.
Cincinnati led 20-0 at halftime, putting the game away.
The Browns were blanked for the first time since a 16-0 loss to Baltimore in 2009.