NFL roundup: Manziel fined $12,000 for finger gesture
CLEVELAND — Johnny Manziel has been slapped on the finger.
The NFL fined the Browns rookie quarterback $12,000 on Friday for flipping his middle finger at Washington’s sideline, a person familiar with the penalty told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the ruling has not been made public.
Manziel said he was reacting to incessant taunting by the Redskins during Monday night’s nationally televised game when he made the gesture while running back to Cleveland’s huddle.
“I had words exchanged with me throughout the entirety of the game, every game, week after week,” Manziel said. “I should have been smarter. It was a Monday Night Football game and the cameras were probably solidly on me, and I need to be smarter about that.”
Manziel has never shied away from other gestures on the field, notably the finger-rubbing “money” sign he made famous while winning the Heisman Trophy at Texas A&M.
Manziel expects the trash talk to keep heading his way.
“Since my name has grown bigger and people have known who I am, it just continues to go as the games continue to go on,” he said following Cleveland’s 24-23 loss to the Redskins. “I don’t know if there is a single level of severity each game, but I know it’s there and it’s present every game. I just need to let it slide off my back and go to the next play.
“I feel like I did a good job of holding my composure throughout the night and you have a lapse of judgment and slip up.”
His finger flipping didn’t help his chances of winning Cleveland’s starting job, which went to veteran Brian Hoyer.
Browns coach Mike Pettine felt Manziel should have known better than to react to Washington’s insults. He wants his high-profile rookie — and Cleveland’s other players — to make mature decisions on and off the field. Pettine said the 21-year-old’s behavior factored into the team’s decision in naming a starter.
“We talk about ‘Play like a Brown.’ We want our guys to act like a Brown,” Pettine said. “We want to be a first-class organization. We have hundreds, thousands of kids come to our training camp practices, and look up to our players. That type of behavior is unacceptable.”
SEAHAWKS 34, BEARS 6
SEATTLE — Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another score, helping the Seattle Seahawks rout the Chicago Bears on Friday night.
Already with a defense expected to be among the best in the NFL again, Wilson and the Seahawks can only hope the offensive efficiency of the past two weeks continues into the regular season.
Seattle scored touchdowns on its first four possessions, and Steven Hauschka hit a 59-yard field goal — what would be a franchise record in the regular season — on the final play of the first half. It was the ninth straight possession Seattle had scored with Wilson on the field.
Jay Cutler played the first half for Chicago and was 12 of 20 for 157 yards and an interception.
PATRIOTS 30, PANTHERS 7
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady’s offense and the New England Patriots’ defense dominated the Carolina Panthers.
Brady threw for 204 yards and two touchdowns, Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 60-yard field goal and the Patriots shut down Cam Newton and the Panthers on Friday night.
The third preseason game for both teams was no contest as the Patriots outgained the Panthers 405-271.
Brady led the Patriots (2-1) to scores on three of his five series and completed 17 of 21 passes. Newton was 8 for 12 for 88 yards and was sacked three times. All five of his possessions for the Panthers (1-2) ended in punts.
Both quarterbacks left after their first series of the third quarter.
GIANTS 35, JETS 24
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Geno Smith and Michael Vick each threw for a touchdown with the New York Jets’ starters, and the defense mostly shut down Eli Manning before the Giants’ backups rallied.
Rex Ryan announced that Smith will be the starting quarterback for the Jets (2-1) after a solid preseason. He was 9 of 14 for 137 yards, including a 1-yard scoring toss to rookie Jace Amaro.
Vick replaced Smith to start the second half, and after a rough first series in which he was sacked and then lost a fumble, led an 11-play, 76-yard drive that was capped by a go-ahead 3-yard TD toss to Eric Decker against the Giants’ backups. Vick finished 4 of 5 for 35 yards in his two series against the Giants (4-0).
Manning, still adjusting to new coordinator Ben McAdoo’s offense, struggled most of the way but hit Rueben Randle for a 15-yard touchdown with 5 seconds left in the first half. Manning was 12 of 21 for 139 yards, including his first scoring pass of the preseason.
PACKERS 31, RAIDERS 21
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers threw for two touchdowns, Eddie Lacy rumbled for a 1-yard score on the Green Bay Packers’ opening drive and prized free agent acquisition Julius Peppers recorded his first sack of the preseason in a victory over the Oakland Raiders.
The game was stopped for several minutes in the second quarter after Raiders linebacker Sio Moore was taken off the field with a neck injury. He gave a thumbs-up sign while the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Moore was taken to a hospital.
The Raiders (1-2) also lost two other defensive starters to head injuries in cornerback Tarell Brown and linebacker Nick Roach.
A first-team defense that allowed three touchdown drives in four possessions in the first two preseason games had its ups and down against Rodgers, who finished 9 of 20 for 139 yards playing into the second quarter for the Packers (2-1).
Matt Schaub played into the third, finishing 13 of 27 for 110 yards for Oakland.
LIONS 13, JAGUARS 12
ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Reggie Bush broke free for an 86-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, one of only a few offensive highlights as the Detroit Lions edged the Jacksonville Jaguars in a penalty-filled game.
Calvin Johnson played for the first time this preseason, catching two passes for 27 yards, but Matthew Stafford was intercepted once and the Lions (2-1) struggled in the red zone.
Blake Bortles threw for 158 yards and a touchdown for the Jaguars (1-2). Jacksonville started Chad Henne, but Bortles — the third pick in this year’s draft — was impressive in relief. He completed 10 of 16 passes, including a 13-yard touchdown to Allen Hurns.
By wire sources