Browns have league’s best player on both offense and defense

Browns, Joel Bitonio. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Joel Bitonio. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cleveland Browns have the highest-graded player on offense as well as on defense this season according to Pro Football Focus

This hasn’t been the season the Cleveland Browns hoped for just yet but they’ve at least had some great performances from a couple of their best players. In fact, they even have two of the best in the NFL.

According to Pro Football Focus, the Browns have the No. 1 graded player in the NFL which is Myles Garrett. The veteran pass rusher has an insane score of 92.9 after the first eight games. As impressive as that is, what’s even more encouraging for this team is the fact that they also have the top-graded offensive player in Joel Bitonio as the veteran guard is sitting at 91.3.

If you’re wondering how rare that is, only the 2006 New York Jets have ever finished a season with such a ranking, which was when Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis were the best on their respective sides of the ball.

Joel Bitonio is Browns quiet superstar

Cleveland has plenty of talent on their team, that much is true. While some of the players might have been overvalued, they still have several superstars such as Garrett, Nick Chubb, and Amari Cooper.

In fact, their offense overall has been very good this year, with the defensive woes being their main downfall — that’s also where the majority of the overvaluing was taking place.

Having said that, one name that often gets overlooked is Joel Bitonio. The longest-tenured member of the team hardly makes any noise. He offers very few soundbites but just goes out and does his job.

Over the past couple of years, Cleveland has had a lot of success on the ground and while Chubb and Kareem Hunt are special, they’ve even seen D’Ernest Johnson explode when he gets a chance. That’s thanks to the work of Bitonio and the rest of the line.

Myles Garrett looking for the elusive award

While Bitonio is often overlooked, Myles Garrett is usually praised for his talent. Of course, his play stands out more since it’s easy to see him lay out a quarterback whereas Bitonio’s blocks sometimes get missed due to the work the running back does afterward.

Having said that, he has yet to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. Garrett has been honest about wanting to earn that distinction and while the numbers are there, he’s just not won the vote.

This season, that could change if the Cleveland defense continues to shine as they did Monday. Should that have a complete turnaround, Garrett will be seen as the catalyst and that could be enough to put him over the top.

Even without the accolades, Cleveland fans know what they have in Garrett and they also know what type of player Bitonio is. It’s just nice to see them being given the praise they’re due.