What are the odds that two relatively undersize quarterbacks who grew up in small Texas towns just 130 miles apart would win Heisman trophies in back-to-back years, become first-round NFL draft picks and ooze so much charisma that they trademarked their nicknames before making their pro debuts?
Griffin and Manziel are also 99 percent of the reason why Monday’s preseason clash between teams that finished at the bottom of their respective divisions last season with abysmal records (Washington, 3-13; Cleveland, 4-12) is such compelling viewing, in full-hype mode for “Monday Night Football.”
Griffin, 24, is expected to play the first quarter. Manziel, 21, is expected to come off the bench behind incumbent starter Brian Hoyer yet get an equal share of snaps with the Browns’ first team.
Comparisons between the Heisman Trophy winners — each, the face of his franchise — are sure to fly fast and furious Monday night. Consider this a jump-start on the tale of the tape to come:
|Home town||Copperas Cove, Tex. (pop. 33,374)||Kerrville, Tex. (pop. 22,455)|
|Drafted||1st rd., 2nd overall (2012)||1st rd., 22nd overall (2014)|
|Heisman Trophy||2011 (405 first-place votes)||2012 (474 first-place votes)|
2014 preseason opener stats
|Outcome||def. New England, 23-6||lost to Detroit, 13-12|
|Passing||2 for 4, nine yards||7 for 11, 63 yards|
|Rushing||0 attempts||Six for 27 yds.|
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