JOHNNY MANZIEL got a cool tweet from a king-sized fan prior to his first NFL start yesterday.
Cavaliers star LeBron James reached out to the Browns quarterback, writing: "Best of luck to my lil brother @jmanziel2 on making his 1st start today. Let's Go!!"
But then the game started, and Manziel, filling in for a struggling Brian Hoyer, played more like Johnny Appleseed than Johnny Football in a 30-0 loss to the visiting Cincinnati Bengals.
Manziel was 10-for-18 for 80 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. It would have been three but one was nullified by a penalty. He was also sacked three times.
The Bengals' defense gleefully mocked Manziel by imitating his signature "money-rubbing" gesture throughout the game.
" every time we hit him, every time we got him on his back," said Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko. "So it was a lot of money signs thrown out today."
Cincinnati linebacker Rey Maualuga even received a taunting penalty for it.
"Everything was all about Manziel all week," Maualuga said. "We just focused on us. We just focused on what we needed to do to stop the kid."
To his credit, Manziel made no excuses for his poor performance.
"It was tough," he said. "When you get beat, you get beat and you take it like a man. I felt like it was a fail on my part."
Cincinnati scored in every quarter. In the first half, it became apparent that Cleveland's fans might be more effective than its defense at stopping the Bengals.
With 13:11 left in second quarter, Bengals running back Jeremy Hill scored the second of two touchdowns on a 16-yard run and attempted to jump into the famed Dawg Pound.
But the mongrel fans pushed his back.
Maybe they should have been playing defense for the Browns.