3 Reasons the Cleveland Browns defense will be top-10 in 2020

Myles Garrett #95 of the Cleveland Browns - (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Myles Garrett #95 of the Cleveland Browns - (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

3. The pass-rush

Heading into the 2019 season, the two-headed monsters of Vernon and Garrett was supposed to be an unstoppable force for the Browns defense. Fans may remember the third preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019 where Steve Wilks unleashed the beasts and created havoc.

At that moment fans were sold “this was the year”. However, it would take Vernon time to adjust to the system, and once he got rolling a knee injury would slow him down the rest of the season.

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A suspension to Garrett after the Week 10 win vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers was the final nail in the coffin. Garrett racked up 10 sacks in 10 games, but after his departure the pass rush was nonexistent. With no pass rush, the secondary stood no chance on passing downs. Not to mention teams were just running down the Browns throats.

Look for that all to change next season under Joe Woods for a few reasons. One – the Browns have much better depth after Garrett. Vernon and Adrian Clayborn will both be big factors next season to help get after the quarterback.

Two – Garrett will be more motivated than ever to have a great season. He will be off his suspension and playing for a huge contract. 16-plus sacks is not a crazy thought for Garrett next season.

Three – the interior line will help free up pass rushers.  Sheldon Richardson, Larry Ogunjobi, and newly added Andrew Billings can all rush the passer from the inside, which is a huge benefit to outside rushers.

A good pass rush is the first part of any good defense.  When a quarterback has less time, everyone’s job on defense becomes easier. An aggressive scheme by Woods will help the Browns get after the quarterback and thrive in 2020 to become a top-10 defense.