DETROIT (AP) — Johnny
Manziel took off up the middle, slipping between a couple defensive
linemen and racing through the open field.
Then — perhaps most importantly — he finished the 16-yard run with a smooth, feet-first slide across the turf at Ford Field.
times I did take off, I felt like I got out of bounds, slid, and tried
to protect myself in the best way that I could," Manziel said. "I feel
Manziel showed off some of his fancy footwork, and the
Cleveland rookie looked sharp with his arm too in his preseason debut,
although the Browns lost to the Detroit Lions 13-12 on Saturday night.
entered the game as a backup in the middle of the second quarter. He
couldn't take his team to the end zone, but he looked poised while
directing the offense.
One of the biggest questions facing Manziel
is how much he can afford to tuck the ball in and run with it. He was
quick to scramble Saturday, but he never looked reckless or out of
"It was a good start," he said. "You have to start
somewhere and set a foundation. I got my feet wet, got my first
preseason game under my belt."
Manziel went 7 of 11 for 63 yards,
completing one more pass than starting quarterback Brian Hoyer. Manziel
also ran for 27 yards on six carries.
Hoyer went 6 of 14 for 92
yards. Coach Mike Pettine said no decision has been made about who will
start Cleveland's next preseason game.
"They both did some things
more suited to their skill set," Pettine said. "I think Brian was high
on a couple throws. I think he would want those back, and he threw a
couple other nice balls in there. Then I thought Johnny did some nice
things from the pocket, and when he got out, he created a little bit as
Matthew Stafford led the Lions to a field goal on his only drive of the game. Star receiver Calvin Johnson didn't play.
very multiple in this offense. We have a lot of different looks and a
lot of different plays that we can show the opposing defense," Stafford
said. "You didn't see a lot of that tonight, because we barely
gameplanned for this game at all, so there weren't a lot of the things
that we will have in the regular season."
Cleveland receiver Nate Burleson, who played in Detroit the last four seasons, also sat out this game.
Kellen Moore threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Corey Fuller with 1:05
remaining in the fourth quarter, and Giorgio Tavecchio made the long
extra point to give the Lions the one-point win.
There was a buzz
surrounding this preseason game because of Manziel's debut, and the
former Heisman Trophy winner took the field with 7:32 remaining in the
first half, drawing a few cheers but also plenty of boos from the
Detroit crowd. Amid a fair number of camera flashes, Manziel took the
snap and immediately completed a 6-yard pass toward the left sideline to
But the Lions stuffed the Cleveland quarterback on what looked like a read option on third down, ending that drive.
Cundiff gave Cleveland a 9-6 lead with a 41-yard field goal early in
the third quarter. On his next drive, Manziel dropped back on
third-and-8, then took off up the middle, finding plenty of open space
for a 16-yard run that was the longest by a Cleveland player on the
"I was coming back across my progression to throw, and it
kind of just parted for me. I needed to make a quick decision," Manziel
said. "Luckily I got past the first wave of defensive linemen."
later outran the Lions to the sideline to pick up a first down on
fourth-and-1, but the drive ended when Dion Lewis fumbled inside the
Cundiff kicked four field goals for the Browns, and
rookie Nate Freese made two for the Lions. Detroit was playing its first
preseason game under new coach Jim Caldwell, and the offense did little
to impress with Stafford barely playing. Backup quarterback Dan
Orlovsky went 12 of 23 for 89 yards.
Browns wide receiver Josh
Gordon played while awaiting word from the NFL on his appeal of a
possible suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
He caught two passes for 32 yards.
Rookie tight end Eric Ebron,
Detroit's first-round draft pick, played after missing some practice
time during the week with an injury. He caught one pass.