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Johnny Manziel says his three turnovers ‘really just killed’ Browns in loss

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Johnny Manziel found himself pressed into action after Josh McCown suffered a concussion in the second quarter of the Cleveland Browns’ Week 1 showdown against the New York Jets. While Manziel played well in the first half — including throwing his first career touchdown pass — his three second half turnovers completely foiled any chance of the Browns notching a victory; and the second-year quarterback accepted his share of the blame following the 31-10 loss.

“First and foremost, you can’t turn the ball over,” he said, via Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Mary Kay Cabot. “So that one throw on the pick, that’s got to be outside, that’s got to be our ball or nobody’s. So that kind of slowed our momentum a little bit.  I felt like we did some good things. But in the end, too many mistakes, turnovers, they really just killed us.”

The Jets capitalized on Manziel’s first two turnovers — one an interception and the other a fumble (he also fumbled again later) — turning them into 14 points.

Manziel, who went 13-for-24 for 182 yards with one touchdown and one interception, posted a 149.3 quarterback rating in the first half but his post-halftime rating dropped to 41.2. His overall rating was a disappointing 75.3.

Despite his shaky showing, it appears Manziel believes more preparation time will be beneficial should he be pressed into starting in Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans if McCown doesn’t recover from his head injury in time.

“Having a week of practice, getting in with those guys, being able to go over all our protections, going over everything and really have a solid week of practice, I feel pretty good about (starting next week),” he said.

Manziel acknowledged that the lack of practice with the first team — not to mention how he is still recovering from tendinitis in his right elbow (“just a little bit of tightness,” he said) — played a role in his struggles.

“Obviously I hadn’t got a lot of practice reps,” he said. “I’d been sitting a little bit. But that’s the nature of the game. I was a two today and exactly where I wanted to be and got a chance to get in the game and did some good things but just not enough to really get the job done.”