Comparing Connor Shaw to Johnny Manziel


We won’t be making any firm statements but thought it would be interesting to compare Connor Shaw to Johnny Manziel and how they performed for the Cleveland Browns in their short time on the field.

First a few notes before we take a look at some of the statistical comparisons:

  • Manziel faced very tough Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers defenses.
  • Shaw faced a good Baltimore Ravens defense today.
    • I would likely rank the Ravens 4th if ranking compared to the Bills, Bengals and Panthers.
  • Manziel played with Josh Gordon, Shaw did not.
  • Manziel played with Ryan Seymour at center.
  • Shaw played with Nick McDonald, the player Seymour replaced, at center.
  • Manziel got snaps with the team all season.
  • Shaw played a number of different positions on the practice squad during the season.

Now on to our comparisons:

Johnny Manziel351851%175529.83200232642
Connor Shaw281450%1776.31754900142755.2

So what do we learn from their numbers? They threw for almost the same of yards on the same passing percentage. Shaw was allowed/able to throw for almost as many attempts in one game as Manziel was in parts of 3 games, a little over 2 quarters more. Both took quite a few sacks, with Shaw taking the most. Shaw’s rating is a bit higher but that says very little.

So that leaves us with analyzing how the two players looked based on anecdotal thoughts. So lets do that:

  • Connor Shaw looked far more comfortable when pressure was around him.
  • Johnny Manziel had a far, far (did we say far) stronger arm.
  • When Shaw rolled out or escaped the pocket he was more productive than Manziel.
  • Manziel’s talent base is much higher.
  • Shaw’s ability to manage games was higher.
  • Shaw looked like a poor version of a combination of Manziel and Brian Hoyer.
  • The Browns run game was much better with Shaw.
  • It is far too little evidence to make a clear evaluation.
  • There is a reason Manziel was drafted and Shaw was undrafted: pure talent base.
  • Shaw, like many overlooked players, showed how much extra work he put in throughout the season to be mentally prepared.

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Both Shaw and Manziel are likely to be on the Browns roster at the beginning of next season. Coach Mike Pettine will talk about an open competition between whatever QBs are on the roster but it is likely that Manziel, and not Shaw, is given the first shot at the spot.

Fans were/are excited about what they saw from Connor Shaw today and are upset with Johnny Manziel, today. That is today. Taking a deep breath and stepping back the Browns are likely to do whatever they can do to make Manziel or any QB they bring in to make the team better. Nothing Shaw did today was likely to change that.

What did you think of Connor Shaw’s performance today and the comparison between he and Johnny Manziel?

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