NFL Cleveland Browns

No Surprise Johnny Manziel Set NFL Network Record In Preseason Debut

Johnny Manziel

Andrew Weber — USA TODAY Sports

The million dollar question around the NFL — will Johnny Manziel live up to the hype?

Well, at least for one night this season, he did. His performance on the field against the Detroit Lions wasn’t really anything to write home about. But when it comes to ratings, Johnny Football lived up to the hype and then some.

Manziel’s preseason debut drew a rating of 1.81, which is equivalent to 2.2 million viewers. Big numbers in the scheme of things? Absolutely not. Big numbers for a preseason game? You bet. In fact, the 1.81 rating is a new record for NFL Network preseason games (crushing the old mark of 1.25 and 2.07 million viewers).

This is just the start of what’s sure to be a trend moving forward. When, not if, Manziel takes over the Cleveland Browns‘ starting QB gig, you know the ratings needle is going to move. He’s a polarizing figure who gets people to pay attention. Whether you love him or hate him, you have to see what happens.

John Football’s case is unique because there are so many people who love and hate him, and also seemingly a split amount of people who think he’ll be successful in the NFL. On top of everything, his brand of football is just plain fun to watch. While fans won’t be seeing Johnny College Football out there running all over the field on Sundays, they’ll still get to see him improvising and making exciting plays with his feet.

So as long as the 21-year old continues to progress as a pro QB, and as long as he keeps his nose clean off the field, you can bank on him continuing to draw large ratings as the season progresses.