Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett probably is the best pass rusher the New England Patriots will face all season.
Garrett and the Browns will come to Gillette Stadium on Sunday for a Week 8 matchup against the Patriots. The Patriots offensive line will have its hands full with Garrett, whose speed and strength gives him an advantage over many players.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick usually is very complimentary of opposing players in the week leading up to Sunday's game, but he had special praise for Garrett in his conference call with Browns reporters Monday.
“I’m thinking about I wish we didn’t have to play against him. He’s pretty much impossible to block," Belichick said, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. "They put him in a lot of different places so you don’t always know where he’s going to be. But wherever he is you better find him and block him or he’ll ruin the game.
What makes Garrett so tough to play against?
"Got great power and explosion, good get-off, very athletic and he’s blocked but then he doesn’t stay blocked, he comes free quickly and escapes and gets off blocks," Belichick said. "Plays with a lot of power, he’s certainly not a finesse player. He’s very explosive, powerful guy that is also athletic enough to do very rare things. He can close ground in a hurry and get off blocks with his strength, quickness and explosiveness and instincts. He’s a smart player. Finds the ball, finds it quickly. He impacts the games defensively, better be able to handle him on any play or he can ruin a game for you.’’
Garrett was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and he's lived up to the hype. He tallied seven sacks in 11 games as a rookie, then had a breakout 2018 campaign with 13.5 sacks in 16 games.
He should blow past that number in 2019. The Texas A&M product is tied for the league lead with nine sacks through the first eight weeks. His consistency has been very good, too, with at least one sack in five of the Browns' six games, including three multi-sack performances.
The Patriots' o-line gave up four sacks over the first three games, then it allowed seven sacks over the next three matchups. The unit showed improvement in Monday night's 33-0 win over the New York Jets by keeping quarterback Tom Brady clean in the pocket. Accomplishing that goal will be much more difficult Sunday versus Garrett, so we should expect Patriots running backs and tight ends to help out in the team effort to block the talented Cleveland pass rusher.
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