The Cleveland Browns are playing winning football and have their fans dreaming of the playoffs.
A large part of that is because they have simplified their offense to being smarter.
In the past, prior head coaches bought into the belief that they had to treat Baker Mayfield as a number one overall pick.
As a result, the offense was more pass-heavy, which led to more turnovers.
In his sophomore season, Baker threw for 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.
But, HC Kevin Stefanski understands that Baker is way better as a game manager.
Subsequently, it is showing off as the Browns are limiting their turnovers.
Not only are they more protective of the football, but they are also tied in first for takeaways.
Cleveland Browns Have 14 Takeaways
The Cleveland Browns are currently tied for most takeaways (14) in the league with the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Seattle Seahawks.
The Chiefs and Buccaneers defense have emerged as two of the better in the league as they both rank in the top five.
However, the Seahawks defense has been really struggling on the year.
But, the fact that they are able to force turnovers keeps them alive in games.
The same can be said for the Browns.
More red flags from the #Browns defense. They’ve now given up more first downs (195) than any defense in the league. They’re also 26th in 3rd down D and 31st on fourth down. Forcing turnovers had been saving them, but that has dried up lately.
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 2, 2020
For a struggling defense, being able to force turnovers can make all the difference in the world.
If the offense is granted extra scoring opportunities, you are giving yourself a higher chance of winning the game.
As Jake alludes to, the Browns takeaway ability has been irrelevant in the last three games, but, it is utility important for them to continue forcing more takeaways if they want to make a playoff run.
Despite that, the Cleveland Browns still rank in the top 10 of turnover differential with a +4 rating halfway through the season.
A large part of their takeaway success is DE, Myles Garrett.
Myles Garrett Is An Early DPOTY Candidate
With our world in the middle of an election, Browns fans might as well get into the spirt and campaign for Myles Garrett as defensive player of the year.
Garrett is currently tied for first in sacks (9) with Aaron Donald.
His hard work has paid off as he was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month in October.
#Browns Myles Garrett is the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for October
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) October 29, 2020
It should also be noted that he deserves much credit for the interceptions as most of them are coming as a result of the pressure being applied from Garrett and his teammates.
But, in the loss suffered to the Raiders, Garrett suffered a knee injury, that appears to be minor.
Browns’ HC Kevin Stefanski on the knee injury that Myles Garrett suffered Sunday: “Nothing structurally significant so we should have him available definitely for the next ball game.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 2, 2020
Luckily for the Browns, they have a bye week in Week 9.
Coming off of their bye, they will face the Houston Texans, whose offensive line has been struggling on the year.
Watson is one of the highest sacked quarterbacks in the league, as he has been sacked 22 times.
The Houston Texans offensive line will be presented with the tall task of slowing down Myles Garrett.
According to ESPN metrics, Myles Garrett is one of the best in the league at winning his pass rushes within 2.5 seconds.
He is number 4 on the list, with a pass rush win percentage of 28%.