Riders respect Manziel’s abilities more after playing against him

Johnny Manziel has his first CFL touchdown passes.

Manziel threw two TD strikes in Montreal’s 34-29 loss Sunday to Saskatchewan. His 47-yard pass to Adarius Bowman in the second quarter put the Alouettes ahead 14-13 before he found Earnest Jackson on a 20-yard TD pass in the fourth that cut the Riders’ lead to 31-29.

The former Heisman Trophy winner finished 9-of-16 passing for 138 yards and the two TDs while rushing for a team-high 45 yards on five carries.

“He’s a little bit faster than what I thought,” Saskatchewan head coach/GM Chris Jones said of Manziel. “If he didn’t have the scrambling ability that he had they would’ve been giving up a few more sacks.”

Saskatchewan’s defence had five sacks in the contest but Manziel still earned props from veteran Riders cornerback Jovon Johnson.

“Manziel is different DIFFERENT!” he tweeted. “Much respect to that man his pocket awareness and ability to get away from blitzes and pss rushers is unreal!

“JManziel2 much respect!”

Manziel has completed 54-of-87 passes (62.1 per cent) in four games with Montreal for 622 yards with two TDs and five interceptions. Manziel also has 121 yards rushing on 16 carries but has yet to win as a CFL starter.

Notching that first-ever victory won’t come easily as Montreal (3-11) hosts league-leading Calgary (11-2) on Monday.

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