Rapid Reaction: Cleveland Browns

CLEVELAND -- A few thoughts on the Cleveland Browns' 26-24 win over the New Orleans Saints at FirstEnergy Stadium.

What it means: The second half against Pittsburgh meant more than originally thought. That second half gave the Browns confidence, and they started strong and finished with a game-winning drive against New Orleans. The Browns opened against two of the NFL's better teams, losing on a game-ending kick and winning on the second-to-last play of the game. This win should give the team and coaching staff faith, which the fans can share. After two dismal quarters against Pittsburgh, the Browns have played well enough to come back from 24 down in Pittsburgh and beat New Orleans. They haven't been perfect, but the second game follow-up confirmed that what happened in the second half of the first game was not a mirage.

Stock watch: The secondary has shown it may be a concern. The Browns appeared to have addressed the issue by drafting Justin Gilbert and signing Isaiah Trufant to be the nickelback, but Trufant was lost for the season with a knee injury and Gilbert has struggled. First the Steelers took advantage of Gilbert in the opener, then the Saints used Jimmy Graham's superior size and strength to beat whoever covered him -- and more than once it was Pro Bowler Joe Haden. Drew Brees does that to a lot of teams, but the Browns secondary has not shown signs of being able to cover well enough to win.

Manziel package: Johnny Manziel got his first NFL playing time, and it wasn’t exactly a glittering debut. Manziel had three plays in the third quarter, when he scampered on the field for a particular play at a particular time. On the first, he ran the read-option off the pistol formation and handed off to Isaiah Crowell for a 3-yard gain. On the second, Manziel handed off and Crowell went nowhere. On the third, a second-and-13 play, Manziel ran play-action, hesitated, looked right, spun and ran left, and threw off balance to fullback Ray Agnew at the sideline. The ball hung up, which allowed Jairus Byrd to hit Agnew and knock it loose. The three plays were inconsequential and seemed to disrupt the offensive flow as much as help anything.

Game ball: Brian Hoyer did it against Minnesota a year ago with a game-winning drive. He led a big drive against Cincinnati last season to secure a win. And he did it against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. An improbable chance turned real when Hoyer completed a fourth-down throw to Gary Barnidge to keep the drive alive then found Miles Austin and Andrew Hawkins for completions to set up the game-winning field goal from Billy Cundiff. Hoyer went 8-for-11 for 77 yards on the final drive, and because of it he gets this game ball. He dealt with the Manziel-mania for an offseason and a training camp and responded the best way possible: on the field.

What’s next: The Baltimore Ravens visit Cleveland for a 1 p.m. ET game at FirstEnergy Stadium.