Brian Hoyer Is A Ford Bronco; Johnny Manziel Is A 1970's Jaguar. What Would You Choose?
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer had been a solid starter -- until the Jacksonville game. It was beginning to look like they had a serviceable player at the NFL's most important position -- until the Jacksonville game. Hoyer was smart with the football -- until the Jacksonville game. He had thrown seven touchdowns and one interception -- Until. The. Jacksonville. Game.
But if your Ford Bronco broke down, are you going to leave it by the curb and buy a 1970's Jaguar? Hell no. You're gonna wait until it gets fixed up -- hopefully within the week -- and go about your life. (Note: I apologize that these cars coincidentally happen to be the nicknames of football teams. _(•.•)_/)
After a game like the embarrassing, butt-whooping Jacksonville loss, media experts like Skip Bayless are going to start chanting for Johnny Manziel. Then, the fans will follow.
If you've seen Mad Men -- and I hope you've seen Mad Men -- you know that Jaguars were a shiny, exotic car that broke down often. Manziel's agent Erik Burkhardt probably felt a lot like Don Draper when Manziel was selected in the first round. Don't get me wrong, Jaguars are awesome cars. But at one point, they were as tough a sell as Manziel was on an inflatable swan with champagne in hand. Luckily, that happened after the draft. But in Manziel (/a Jaguar), you're running the risk of a regular breakdown. In Hoyer (/the Bronco), you're running on a reliable, nonsense engine. It doesn't have the highest octane. It doesn't win you any races. But it won't lose them for you either. If Hoyer can pull it together and return to his Week 1 through 6 form, then he deserves to continue to start as quarterback.
Hoyer is the opposite of Johnny Manziel. He's not exciting -- He's borderline boring. There's an exhausting pragmatism to his game. And yet, the Browns are stranded in a quarterback desert and, for now, Hoyer is their oasis. Fans have started buying his jerseys. They like him so much that his jersey sales have finally surpassed Mr. Football's. One bad game shouldn't cause fans and media analysts to turn on Brian Hoyer just because Manziel is waiting behind him.
Hoyer is allowing the Browns to have a +4 turnover differential, which is 10th best in the league. He has thrown only two interceptions all season. He has two of the Browns' six fumbles. He's leading a middle of the road, 18th best passing offense, which creates enough space for the NFL's eighth best rushing offense.
Don't kill the game manager.
The defense is the real problem. Hoyer's offense may have mustered a pathetic six points against the Jaguars, but the defense allowed an even more pathetic 24 points against the Jaguars offense. And while they didn't look like it in Week 7, this Browns team could go to the playoffs -- though their shot for a Wildcard spot gets longer with every loss. While the possibility is still there, they should continue to play Hoyer.
Going with Hoyer doesn't even put the Cleveland Browns in a bind. There's little question what they do with Johnny Manziel. Hoyer's contract is up at the end of this season. Unless he turns from Bronco into F-150, Hoyer will likely move on and Manziel will take over the team. But for now, while Hoyer (6-4) is still a winning quarterback as a starter, let him run the offense. He's as sure-handed a quarterback as Tom Brady and Russell Wilson from an interception standpoint.
Make Johnny Manziel wait and be the next Aaron Rodgers. Don't throw him out there early and make him into the next Brady Quinn.
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