There is no denying the incredible talent of Johnny Manziel as the quarterback for the Texas A&M Aggies. Last season, the dynamic quarterback became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. This year, it could be argued that Johnny Football was even better than last year, adding a more accurate arm to his passing attack to go along with his playmaking ability with his legs. Despite his personal improvement, his stats and the success of the team has regressed in 2013. In the last two games, Manziel has looked worn down and struggled mightily as he appears to have hit the wall after carrying the Aggies all season long.
All season long, the A&M has had major struggles to finish games, particularly on defense. They have been gashed just about every week and finished the season No. 106 in the country for total defense. Early on, they were able to overcome that porous defense with the play of Manziel, who finished the season No. 9 in the country in passing and No. 3 in total offense, averaging 368.2 yards per game as he scored 41 total touchdowns. Despite the struggles of the team as a whole, Manziel was making a strong case to repeat as the Heisman winner in 2013.
But eventually the stress of trying to carry the entire team took it’s toll. After accounting for 300 yards or more in every game where he played all four quarters this season, Johnny Football fell off in the final two games which turned into losses on the road. First, he struggled against the LSU Tigers, producing just 278 yards of offense and one passing touchdown. The next week against the Missouri Tigers, he had his worst game yet, managing just 216 yards of offense with a single touchdown. After averaging no less than 8.07 yards per play in the first 10 games of the season, Manziel managed just 5.25 and 4.70 yards per play against LSU and Missouri.
All season long, Manziel has been pressing to try and make the plays to compensate for the lack of defensive support he has been getting. That led to some spectacular plays, but it also accounted for an increase in Manziel’s turnovers. He finished the year with 13 interceptions, including five over the final three games. The pressure of trying to overcome not only the defense in front of him but also the defense that was supposed to be behind him seems to have caught up to Johnny Football. As good as he is, he’s not Superman and these last two games have shown that he’s tired from trying to be.