Cleveland Browns surprises and disappointments in 2021 season

Browns, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Browns, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns, Myles Garrett
CLEVELAND, OHIO – OCTOBER 17: Jadeveon Clowney #90 of the Cleveland Browns pats Myles Garrett #95 on the back during a game against the Arizona Cardinals at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Browns Surprise No. 2 – Clowney and Garrett combo

Coming into the season there was a belief that Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney could be the best duo pass rush in the entire NFL. And while injuries hindered the pair slightly, Clowney’s nine sacks and Garrett’s 16 sacks were extremely dominant.

Not only were the Cleveland Browns able to get a dominant pass rush with only four guys, but they also did a great job at containing the run game for most of the season as well.

I know it didn’t feel like these two ever dominated one game, but the weakness at defensive tackle is what really limited the success of this defense. If the Browns can find a way to keep Clowney, and they add a defensive tackle that can collapse a pocket, the duo may have 30 total sacks next year between the two of them.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of this duo that isn’t necessarily football related, Garrett and Clowney have become great friends on and off the field. It’s no secret that Clowney was hesitant coming to Cleveland, and now after a year in the locker room, he may be willing to commit to a multiple-year contract.

With another season in the Joe Woods system and 17 games of health, I think this duo could be the talk of the league in 2022 picking up right where they took off to end 2021.