Johnny Manziel's First CFL Start Did Not Go Well

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Johnny Manziel started for the Montreal Alouettes Friday night, against his former team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. This was always going to be a tough assignment—Manziel was traded to Montreal just 14 days ago, and had only practiced with his Alouettes teammates four times before taking the field as their starting quarterback.

The Alouettes are bad, a one-win team with the worst point differential in the CFL. And Manziel very much didn’t make them any better. The first half was an absolute nightmare: Manziel threw an interception directly into the chest of a dropping linebacker with his very first pass, on Montreal’s second offensive play; his second pick came on a tipped pass; his third came on a bad overthrow; and his fourth interception of the first half came on a bad underthrow.

Manziel finished the half 11-of-20 with 104 yards passing, plus four yards rushing, and with his team in a monstrous 38-3 hole. To absolutely no one’s surprise, Alouettes head coach Mike Sherman pulled the plug on this experiment at halftime. Manziel is trying to stay optimistic:

“It sucks. Nevertheless, I don’t think this defines me coming up here as a CFL player. I don’t think one game, good, bad, indifferent, or anything makes your career. If I would’ve been judged after one game at Texas A&M, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”