The unbeaten Bengals know how to torment and taunt Johnny Football.
Johnny Manziel had a horrid NFL debut last season in Cleveland. The Bengals chased him around the field, knocked him around and did his signature "money-rubbing" gesture to rub it in during a 30-0 win.
All this after Bengals coach Marvin Lewis called Manziel "a midget" on a radio show.
With Josh McCown sidelined by a rib injury, Manziel gets a chance to show he's improved Thursday night against a Bengals team that's even better than the last time they met. Cincinnati (7-0) is off to the best start in franchise history and in control of the AFC North.
The Browns (2-6) have lost five of six and will be missing two defensive backs — including cornerback Joe Haden — to concussions. Manziel will have to play much better than the last time in order to prevent it from quickly becoming a blowout.
"He's a different player," coach Mike Pettine said. "I just think we've all seen it from going back to the amount of work in the spring to training camp.
"When the rush became live, I think that's where you saw that he made his biggest improvement with his demeanor in the pocket. That it wasn't as frenetic, that his feet were calm."
Manziel? The Bengals have handled better. They've already beaten Joe Flacco and the Ravens in Baltimore, and last week knocked off Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers in Pittsburgh to remain one of four unbeaten teams.
They're enjoying their stay among the NFL's elite and want to keep it going.
"This game is not a game we're looking over and saying: 'Oh, it's just the Browns,'" defensive tackle Domata Peko said. "We've got to make sure we're on top of our stuff."