CLEVELAND (AP) — The only time Johnny Manziel misbehaved, he took it out on himself.
Angry for throwing a first-half interception, Manziel banged a tablet on his head in frustration before throwing a touchdown pass in the second half and leading the Cleveland Browns to a 24-10 win on Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers to end a seven-game losing streak.
Manziel passed for 270 yards, delivering a quality performance the Browns (3-10) desperately needed. He tossed a 2-yard TD pass to Gary Barnidge late in the third quarter as the Browns won for the first time since Oct. 11 and took some pressure off coach Mike Pettine.
Isaiah Crowell rushed for 145 yards and had two short TD runs for Cleveland, which won its first game in December since 2012.
The 49ers (4-9) allowed nine sacks and managed just 127 yards on offense before a 94-yard drive in garbage time.
Manziel was back on the field after spending the past two games one the sideline being punished by Pettine for partying during Cleveland’s bye week after he had promised not to be a distraction.
The 23-year-old was thankful to get a second chance and made the most of it while giving the Browns hope that he may still blossom into a franchise QB.
Manziel overcame his one glaring mistake, found wide-open wide receivers and looked more like an NFL starter that at any point in his two seasons as a pro.
Making his first start since throwing for a career-high 372 yards on Nov. 15 at Pittsburgh, Manziel was sharp in the first half with the exception of one bone-headed play.
Late in the first half, he was forced from the pocket and was being chased by a San Francisco defender near the Browns sideline. But instead of running out of bounds or throwing it away, Manziel forced a pass over the middle that was intercepted by Niners safety Jaquiski Tartt, who returned it 25 yards.
Manziel stormed off the field and slammed his helmet to the ground. He took a seat on the bench and angrily slammed one of the sideline tablets into his head in frustration at his mistake.
But he later redeemed himself with several quality passes and his short toss to Barnidge, who earlier this week signed a three-year, $12 million contract extension.
The 49ers did nothing well.
Quarterback Blaine Gabbert was roughed up while throwing for 194 yards and a 6-yard TD to Jerome Simpson with 1:42 left. San Francisco was hurt by penalties, but the bigger issues were with blocking, tackling and overall execution.
The lone bright spot was kicker Phil Dawson’s return to Cleveland, where he played for 14 seasons. The 40-year-old kicked a 44-yard field goal and received a warm ovation from Browns fans after a video tribute was shown of him on the stadium’s scoreboards.
Crowell’s 1-yard run into the end zone gave the Browns a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Crowell’s 50-yard run — the longest by a Cleveland back all season — set up the early touchdown, which came after Travis Coons had his 42-yard field-goal attempt blocked by the 49ers.
It was the third straight game the Browns have allowed a blocked field goal, but Coons finally got one past the line of scrimmage in the second quarter, making a 26-yarder to put Cleveland ahead 10-0.
Even some Browns fans applauded Dawson’s boot that brought the 49ers within 10-3.