How to watch Browns vs. Panthers 2014 online: Time, TV schedule and live stream
Johnny Manziel tries to redeem himself against Panthers following a rough first start.
When head coach Mike Pettine announced Manziel would make his first professional start in Week 15, it immediately became one of the top sports stories. Pundits from every corner weighed in on whether benched starter Brian Hoyer deserved to lose his job, and Fox shifted roughly half of the nation over to the Bengals-Browns broadcast. As is often the case when players face unreasonable expectations, Manziel flopped. Cincinnati shutout Cleveland 30-0, mocking the rookie with his money hands sign after every sack.
Manziel’s numbers couldn’t have been much worse. He completed only 55.6 percent of his passes for 80 yards, an average of just 4.4 yards per attempt. Worse, he failed to throw for even one touchdown and was picked off twice. Manziel’s passer rating came in at 27.3 while his QBR was 1.0. It didn’t help that the rookie received almost no help from the running game. The Browns top rusher last week was Terrance West, who produced just 23 yards. As a team, Cleveland averaged just 3.1 yards per rush attempt.
The big question for Carolina is whether Cam Newton can play. The star quarterback was injured two weeks ago in a car accident, suffering two transverse process fractures in his lower back as a result. He sat out last week against Tampa Bay. If he cannot suit up, Derek Anderson will make his third start of the season. Anderson was once a Pro Bowl quarterback with the Browns, giving him plenty of motivation to play well on Sunday if he is called upon. It appears, however, Newton will get the start barring a late setback or reinjury.
After going more than two calendar months without winning a game, Carolina has emerged victorious in each of its last two matchups. The Panthers’ 41-10 Week 14 win against the New Orleans Saints breathed new life into the Panthers season, and they managed not to blow it last week against the moribund Buccaneers. Carolina doesn’t control its own destiny, but it can sneak into the playoffs if the Saints lose another game.
The Browns enter the game with a record of 7-7. The Panthers come in at 5-8-1.
How to watch
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
When: 1 p.m. ET
Announcers: Tom McCarthy, Adam Archuleta
Online streaming: Verizon NFL Mobile
The Panthers are 4-point favorites according to OddsShark.