Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett is one of the best in the business
The Cleveland Browns had a heck of a bounce-back game from their Week 1 display in which they were destroyed by the Baltimore Ravens, from an offensive standpoint. As DPD’s Randy Gurzi alluded to, Baker Mayfield played well, and the ground attack was the bread-and-butter for Cleveland.
Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt combined for 32 rushes for 210 yards, to go with three touchdowns on Thursday in Cleveland’s first win of 2020 over the Cincinnati Bengals, which was great to see. Albeit the Bengals defense is anything but elite.
Now, the defensive side was not stellar overall, from a pass defense perspective it seemed, though Cleveland holding Joe Mixon to 46 yards on 16 carries was meaningful. But Joe Burrow looked very good for much of the game, and kept the Bengals in it.
Yes, the Browns defense has been banged up, and it was again on Thursday, especially in a short week contest. And hopefully, the upcoming longer stretch between games can help. On the plus side, the D did make some key plays in this one, and them getting two key stops in the redzone did pay off in the grand scheme as well.
Anyhow, what was clear as day on Thursday, though, is that a few key defensive playmakers did step up. Denzel Ward who, though he conceded a score, played an integral role in A.J. Green only having three catches for 29 yards on 13 targets. Ward was in primary coverage a ton on Green, for context.
Sheldon Richardson on the interior blew up plays, too, and made a crucial one near the goal line which played right into a big tackle for loss on Mixon. Plus, Richardson had a sack, six total tackles, and two TFLs. He’s not missed a tackle through two games yet, either.
What really jumped out, however, was the play of Myles Garrett, who was his usual game-wrecking self. And Garrett made his presence felt in the Ravens game, too, frankly. But in terms of Garrett’s overall impact on Thursday, one tweet honestly said it all about his ability.
A tweet from ESPN Stats & Info drives home how Garrett is a truly invaluable player for the Cleveland Browns
This was the tweet on Friday that was referenced, which reiterates how Garrett is one of the NFL’s best pass rushers.
A tweet from Pro Football Focus highlighted Garrett’s productivity, too.
Those 12 pass rush wins from Garrett, of which you can view the criteria per the above tweet, just further drives home why the Cleveland Browns got that five-year extension done to lock him up here. Now, of course, Garrett had a crucial strip of Burrow that led right to a short-yardage TD for the Browns, sure.
But while Burrow did slide and make plays still a bunch of the time on Thursday overall, Garrett’s pass rush wins also played a key role in Burrow having to improvise. The Browns did have three sacks of Burrow and eight QB hits, too, for reference.
Granted, Burrow, who is a very athletic quarterback, still often made things happen and had 316 yards and three TD’s through the air, and threw some dimes on the move.
Along with that, Burrow threw the ball 61 times in the game with how the game flow went, so that didn’t exactly hurt Garrett in terms of being able to rack up pass rush wins. Cincy’s offensive line needs a ton of work, too, and it wasn’t shocking to see Garrett wreak havoc, and even more so when lined up on the inside.
Even factoring in that, though, this ESPN Stats & Info tweet just reminds us that Garrett is truly one of the game’s best pass rushers, and let’s not consider sack totals a be-all, end-all.
Garrett does have 31.5 sacks in 37 career starts thus far in his career, yes. But that is far from the whole story, as he’s had 68 quarterback hits in that span, to go with 79 total pressures since 2018 as well, and that’s even with how his past season ended. Plus, per that PFF tweet, he had nine yesterday.
Moreover, this above tweet from ESPN Stats & Info, perhaps more so, just drives home how Garrett is one of the game’s best pass rushers, and he’s invaluable for the Cleveland Browns. Let’s not discount his ability to affect the run game, too, though.