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All eyes on Johnny Football against Reds

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    Johnny Manziels first NFL game last week was the highest-rated preseason game ever aired on the NFL Networknearly 3 million viewers for an Drew Kaser Jersey outlet a lot of fans still cant get, for an exhibition between the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions.Now, hes coming to Monday Night Football. On ESPN. In Washington, with RG3 on the other side. It might end up easier to count who wont be tuned in,and even those who wont be, will be scouring every other medium to find out what Johnny Football does with the hottest spotlight yet in his brief career.MORE: Follow the game live |Putting NFL TV ratings in perspective | No more D.C. dramaCleveland fans found out how well theyre covered, as cleveland.com ran a story Monday morning listing all the ways Browns fans can follow the game against Washington at FedEx Field on television, radio and online.Why not, with so much on the line for the Browns and Manziel Monday night,and with an obvious point of comparison on the other team in Robert Griffin III?The closest comparisons, of course, are in their styles of play and the attention they naturally draw, not to mention the Andrew Adams Jersey offensive coordinator under whom they both have played, Kyle Shanahan.Griffin, though, was locked in as the starter from Day 1 of his rookie year in 2012,while Manziel isnt even starting this game.Coach Mike Pettine, however, plans to split first-team snaps between Manziel and the starter, Brian Hoyer. In other words, no one will be able to afford to take their eyes off the Browns when they have the ball at any point in the first half, at least, and po sibly the first three quarters. The ratings for later in the game will likely dwarf those for the late-first half and third quarter of the average preseason game.MORE: Manziel admits limitations, but intent on growing| Top 10 offensive rookie of the year candidatesManziel already has taken note of the ties between himself and Griffin primarily their backgrounds in Texas high-school and college football, and their Heisman wins. Griffin addedlast week that theyre both real fast, guys that can play backyard football at times.Griffin can relate on one other level: keeping his head above water in a flood of hype for a preseason game. He and Andrew Luck faced off in Week 3 of the preseason in 2012, a game that was circled by fans nationwide the moment the schedule came out the previous spring. Itdrew a swarm of national media and inspired the Redskins to sell a commemorative T-shirt for the game at FedEx Field.For the record: Griffin threw a touchdown pa s that day and had a quarterback rating of 93.8, Josh McCown Jersey and Luck threw one and had a rating of 94.7. When they faced each other in the first half, Washington outscored Indianapolis 14-7 (they won 30-17).At the time it seemed like no other preseason game could approach that drama. Yet, as it turned out, the actual viewership was easy to reach: aired on NFL Network, the game totaled just over 1.3 million viewers. It wasnt even the highest-rated game on the network that preseasonand the 2.82 million for Manziels showing against Detroit last week obliterated that.Hes due to raise the bar even higher Monday night Thomas Morstead Jersey . And dont expect that to have a long shelf-life, either.Next Saturday, the Browns face the Rams in Cleveland. By then, Pettine wants to name a starter,and thus, America will know if it will be Manziels first start. As of now, the game is not scheduled to be carried by anyone live.Stay tuned.

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