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How the Bengals contained Johnny Manziel

It was a rough first start for Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel in just about every way.

The Browns were shut out for the first time since the 2009 season, 30-0 by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Shut Out in 1st Career QB Start
Last 20 Years

The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Manziel is the first quarterback to get shut out in his first career start since Rusty Smith of the Titans lost to the Texans in 2010.

The last Heisman winner to be shut out in his first start was Danny Wuerffel for the 1997 Saints (he got shut out in his first two starts).

Manziel is the first quarterback to have no touchdown passes, multiple interceptions and three sacks in a game in which he had fewer than 100 yards passing since Alex Smith of the 2005 49ers did so against the Colts.

The Browns have now gone four straight games with no touchdown passes and multiple interceptions. The last time that happened was in 1977, when the Buccaneers did it in five straight games.

Keys to defensive success

Manziel looked a lot different from the quarterback who starred at Texas A&M. The Bengals defense had him well scouted.

The Bengals contained Manziel with a standard pass rush, blitzing only twice on his 24 dropbacks. Entering Sunday, there had been only eight games all season with a lower blitz percentage than the Bengals’ 8 percent.

Manziel was 6-of-7 throwing on first down, but 4-of-11 with both interceptions when passing on second or third down.

Manziel was 0-of-4 with two interceptions on throws at least 15 yards downfield. It was the Browns' first game this season without a completion on such throws.

Manziel broke the pocket on 10 of his 24 dropbacks. He was 2-of-7 with an interception out of the pocket Sunday, and he is now 3-of-11 on the season on such passes.

Five of Manziel's eight incompletions were broken up or intercepted by Bengals defenders. Only two of his passes were off-target (overthrown or underthrown).

Worst of the Year

Manziel finished with a Total QBR of 1.0. That is the lowest QBR by any starting quarterback this season and matches Brandon Weeden for the lowest by a quarterback in his first NFL start within the first five seasons.