Johnny Manziel authors Browns' romp over Niners


The Browns (3-10) finally gave their agitated fan base something to smile about on Sunday as Johnny Manziel guided Cleveland to a 24-10 win over the wilting San Francisco 49ers (4-9). Here's what you need to know:

1. Cleveland came out spreading the field against former Browns coach Eric Mangini and his Niners defense. Johnny Manziel missed a handful of early throws, but the second-year quarterback now owns two of Cleveland's three wins on the year after hitting six different targets for 251 yards at 8.7 yards per attempt. With Brady Quinn of all people providing color analysis, Johnny scanned the field and went through his progressions to find receivers in space, helping the suddenly frisky Browns outgain San Francisco 255 yards to 48 over the first two quarters, and 481-221 on the day. 

Johnny brought a genuine spark, but it wasn't all perfect. Manziel was responsible for an ugly sack near the end of the first half, and would have taken a safety on the next play if the Niners weren't hit with a facemask call. Later on the drive, he tossed an ugly pass across his body that landed in the arms of Jaquiski Tartt.

Still, Manziel (21-of-31 passing with a touchdown) displayed a live arm and plus mobility, which begs the question: Why did the Browns wait so long to unleash their young quarterback? Where would Johnny be if they gave him this valuable experience earlier? With Cleveland scoring fewer than 10 points in five games this autumn, the Browns were a lost cause from the start. Manziel could have earned these valuable reps months ago, a weight that rests on the shoulders of coach Mike Pettine. 

2. Blaine Gabbert has produced a string of promising performances, but the Browns gave him all he could handle. Getting pressure on the quarterback for the first time in months, Cleveland piled up five sacks on the 49ers passer in the first half and a whopping nine in total, allowing fewer than 30 points for the first time in five games. It's weird to type this, but the Browns dominated, holding San Francisco to 150 yards through the air and just 4.1 yards per play.

3. Coming into Sunday with the league's worst rushing attack, Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson finally broke free. The rookie Johnson piled up 84 total yards off 14 touches while Crowell played his finest game as a pro, ripping through San Francisco's front seven for 145 yards while showing power and burst. Cleveland had 112 yards in the first half -- and 230 on the day -- nearly doubling its previous season high.

4. We won't get too excited about Cleveland beating the Niners, but San Francisco -- eliminated from playoff contention -- should worry about crumbling to the lowly Browns. When coach Jim Tomsula could have made a statement against a desperate Cleveland club that ranks dead last in scoring differential, the 49ers looked lost from start to finish.

5. With Cleveland's coaching staff and front office battling behind the scenes, Sunday served as an opportunity for Pettine to provide hope. Despite clinching their eighth straight losing season last week, the Browns played their most complete game on Sunday, looking like the club promised to fans all offseason. The roster played hard for their embattled coach, but will it be too late to save him