Manziel ended a 96-yard drive in the Browns' 11-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills with a 21-yard throw to Shane Wynn, a Cleveland native. On the drive, Manziel completed 6 of 7 throws and overcame a 4-yard loss when he tripped over one of his own blockers.
"I think a 96-yard drive is better than the 30-yard drive we had (against Washington)," Manziel said. "So that was better. I felt like things were slowing down still. I was able to make some protection calls and get our guys lined up."
The TD came against Buffalo backups, but with Manziel playing with backups himself. Both teams had a lengthy list of injured players who did not take part in the game. But any touchdown drive matters, especially for Manziel as he attempts to come back from a disastrous rookie season and 10 weeks in rehab.
"I'm still going out trying to play my best and make an impression," Manziel said. "That's what I want to do. I want to have these guys go into the film tomorrow and turn on the tape and say, 'This guy's really doing things right and this guy's really fighting hard to pick things up and make some plays.' That's what I'm trying to do."
Coach Mike Pettine said after the game that Josh McCown is still firmly "the one" and he's not going to start a quarterback controversy. But the facts are the facts: Manziel led a 96-yard drive, while McCown was intercepted twice and sacked three times.
"Obviously not the standard I want to play at," McCown said.
Manziel's TD was set up by a 37-yard throw to Darius Jennings as Manziel rolled left and threw against his body. On the score, Manziel faked a handoff, stepped up in the pocket and found Wynn racing down the right sideline. Wynn lined up in the slot and wound up on a safety, so he might have run a double move for the touchdown.
"That was a really good play by Johnny," McCown said. "Everything -- the read, to step up, the play from the pocket -- it was everything as a young quarterback you want to see him grow into. I am really, really proud of the way he played."
The game did not end well for Manziel, though. After a Buffalo touchdown and two-point conversion put the Bills ahead 11-10, Manziel had a chance for a game-winning drive. But the penalty-marred drive sputtered, and the Browns were stopped on downs. Manziel went 1-for-6 for 6 yards on the final drive (with a 15-yard run).
"A minute-thirty left, we need to get in field goal range," Manziel said. "We want to push it across midfield."
For the game Manziel was 10-for-18 for 118 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. His rating: 94.2.
Manziel's first touchdown of preseason came on a 12-yard run against Washington.