With eight games to play, the Cleveland Browns have given their franchise a chance to make the playoffs.
In order to do that, the team is going to need to be at full strength.
Making the postseason typically requires a healthy team and a little bit of luck.
At 5-3, the Browns are sitting in a position to crack the top-7 as the team sits at the No. 8 seed.
To get over the hump, the Browns can’t lose this key player.
Garrett is easily the Browns’ first-half MVP.
In terms of the defense, he is the heart and soul of that unit.
Nobody in the NFL has affected games the way that Garrett has through the first eight games of the season.
On the year, Garrett has 9.0 sacks, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.
— Everything Cleveland (@EverythingCLE_) November 5, 2020
He also owns 21 pressures on opposing quarterbacks, helping the Browns tie for the lead in the league in takeaways by adding seven interceptions and seven forced fumbles.
Garrett is a leading contender for Defensive Player of the Year, which means that the Browns cannot afford to lose him.
When He’s Gone
Garrett has come a long way since 2017.
The former No. 1 overall pick was criticized when the Browns went 0-16 during his rookie season.
In 2019, he missed the final six games of the season due to an altercation with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, which has been highly publicized.
Since then, some have deemed Garrett as a dirty player.
Myles Garrett, 2019 dirty plays
Week 1: Punched Titans TE Delanie Walker after whistle
Week 2: Ended Jets QB Trevor Siemian's season on late hit
— Kevin Boilard (@KevinBoilard) November 15, 2019
However, Garrett has since apologized for that incident and has wanted to do better on and off the field.
Quite frankly, Garrett has achieved that, which makes him so valuable.
Last year, in 10 games Garrett’s play received consideration for Defensive Player of the Year.
He had 29 combined tackles and 10.0 sacks.
When Garrett isn’t on the field, the Browns pass rushing is significantly worse.
Don’t believe us, take a trip down memory lane.
His Impact On Games
Here are just a few highlights that should make you appreciate Garrett a lot more if you didn’t already
- Week 2: Browns 35, Bengals 30: Garrett gave the Browns the ball on the 2-yard line after a strip-sack on Joe Burrow, which set up a touchdown just two plays later.
- Week 3: Browns 34, Washington Football Team 20: Garrett had a strip-sack of Dwayne Haskins and it gave the Browns the ball midfield halfway through the fourth quarter. The Browns were up by 11, but this sealed the victory.
- Week 4: Browns 49, Cowboys 38: Garrett gave the ball to the offense on the Dallas 34-yard line after a strip-sack on Dak Prescott. The Browns scored a touchdown just four plays later.
- Week 7: Browns 37, Bengals 34: The Browns took over on the Cincinnati 33-yard line after a strip-sack on Burrow, which set up a field goal. It was a critical play as the Browns were able to get an extra possession and eventually score the go-ahead touchdown with 16 seconds left.
As the Browns enter the easier part of their schedule, the Browns will need Garrett to continue to play like an MVP.
The Browns play the Texans on Sunday and then follow with the Eagles and Jaguars.
A three-game win streak is on the table and an 8-3 record would give Cleveland a reason to party.