1. Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns
Matchup: Week 13 @ HOME
What Nick Shook had to say:
"Cleveland’s pass rush suffered a drastic dropoff in effectiveness after his departure. The Browns had a 32.9 percent pressure rate with Garrett on the field in 2019; without him, that figure dropped to 21.5 percent. Garrett’s disruption rate was the best in the NFL. He registered a pressure on 17.1 percent of dropbacks in 2019, which was the highest percentage posted by a player since the 2016 season. He also became one of just three players to post a pressure rate of 12 percent or higher in each of the last three seasons. The other two: Aaron Donald and Von Miller. With each Browns contest, there was a moment or two in which a quarterback would hit the turf and there’d be only one word to say in response: Myles."
You won’t find any Garrett slander here. Was he completely in the wrong for what he did in the Pittsburgh Steelers game? Absolutely. Is he a great pass rusher who will barely be 25 by the time the season is over? Yep.
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In games against the Titans, the final score has been a lot friendlier to Tennessee than Garrett’s own stat line. In two contests the Titans are 2-0, but he has finished those games with 3 sacks combined.
Now, there is a caveat with those numbers when you look back on film. The first note is that in 2017 when the Titans played the Browns, Garrett’s sack came with less than 5 minutes in the 4th quarter when the Titans were trying to burn clock. Marcus Mariota slid instead of potentially taking a big hit or throwing it away to keep the clock rolling.
In 2019, Garrett played against the Titans when Taylor Lewan was serving the first game of his suspension. One sack was against Dennis Kelly clean, but the other sack was another slide from Marcus Mariota when Tennessee was ahead 36-13 with 4 minutes left in the 4th quarter.
That doesn’t make Garrett any less of a threat, but maybe there is more optimism than the raw numbers would suggest.