Fox Sports has decided to go with Johnny Manziel over Aaron Rodgers this Sunday. The network has made the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns a priority, putting its No. 2 broadcast team of Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch on the scene, instead of their originally scheduled game of Packers-Bills. Lynch revealed the switch on Mike & Mike this morning.
John Lynch tells Mike and Mike that he was slated to do the GB game, but was then assigned CLE because Manziel is bigger story than Rodgers.
— Tony Gerdeman (@GerdOZone) December 11, 2014
The game will also be shown to 46 percent of the country, per Neil Best, making it Fox’s top early afternoon game. It’s an interesting move from a football perspective, when you consider how many people would love to see Rodgers and the Packers high-flying attack. Rodgers is likely going to win the MVP, and Manziel might throw for 75 yards and three interceptions before being benched at halftime.
Of course, it is the power of Johnny Football that is forcing this move, with Fox believing that Manziel in his first start will captivate the nation.
This is the first year of cross-flexing, with CBS broadcasting certain NFC games while Fox takes a handful of AFC contests. For Fox, it must be wildly cheering in board rooms with this matchup, luckily drawing the first career start for Manziel instead of getting Brian Hoyer vs. Andy Dalton in a stadium filled with angry people from both fan bases who have not seen a playoff win since 1994.