Coming to conclusions about individual football performance is dangerous when we only study the surface level statistics. If you found yourself watching the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers on Sunday, one might have felt Myles Garrett was invisible. It’s fairly easy to see how people could think he has been a disappointment of late. Well, I’m here to tell you that is not true. Football is unique in the way that it requires 11 men to do their single job to help the collective group succeed.
Unlike baseball whose one-on-one match-ups are bluntly obvious, or basketball where we can plainly see all the moving parts and their process unfold each trip down the court, football buries itself in the unseen. For the typical fan, and the naked eye, it’s tough to always tell what a single players job is on any given play, and if that job is being done correctly. In terms of defense, it takes just one man failing at his job for the whole unit to be deemed a failure.
That’s where we come to Myles Garrett. For the one-time-through game viewers, Myles might come as a disappointment. Fans asking, “where are the big-time sacks?” Complaining about his lack of ‘stand out plays’. While this complaint is misguided, it’s understandable. But, like anything in life, you have to take a step back and look at the whole picture. Step back and try to understand what Myles is asked to do on any given play, and from there we can see he is playing really well. Here are his some clips of his 55 snaps on Sunday. These include his high points, and low points in the Browns 27-21 loss to the Packers.
Here Garrett correctly squeezes down as his tackle disappears, takes on the pulling guard, stands him up, sheds inside with nice arm extension/leverage and is in on the tackle.
Garrett needs a quicker counter move if his first move or plan of attack is stopped. The most successful defensive ends in this league have a deadly first move, but also a nice counter to keep opposing tackles from continually stopping them.
Nice bull rush here that puts Packer’s left tackle David Bakhtiari in Hundley’s lap, but the ball is out too quickly. This was a common theme on Sunday.
Rip inside here on his stunt forces Hundley to slide and leave the pocket. I enjoy how low the pad level is maintained. The guard has no shot at stopping him once he takes one false step too far.
This is a sack if he isn’t held and the ball doesn’t come out in 1.55 seconds. Another example of excellent pad level. Watch the long-arm turn Bakhtiari off balance and open his path.
You’re not going to be able to cut him, he’s too fast for it. Ball is out lightning quick again.
He throws Bakhtiari around twice here. The ball is getting out of Hundley’s hands so quickly. You shouldn’t be able to do this to one of the best left tackles in the league.
Another slant stunt where Myles keeps his pad level low and gets by the opposing guard with ease to force an errant throw. This is another one that could have easily been a sack.
He has crash duties here, but needs to be more aware – gets pinned. This one is bad.
When they move him inside on a shade technique on the gaurd, it gets really fun. Draws a shade double and folds his man into Hundley’s feet.
This is a solid dip move and would be effective if the Q wasn’t getting it out at super human speed.
Yes, he has to make this tackle. Think it caught him a bit off guard how close the wide receiver was when he turned, but there is no excuse. Mike Jordan should make it as well.
The moral of the story here is that we need to look past the failures we think are happening. Sure, Myles didn’t make any game-changing plays, but he did his job, and he did it very well on Sunday. Green Bay had an excellent game plan to nullify the Browns pass rush, and Gregg Williams did little to help stop the Packer’s quick passing game. On average Sunday, the ball came out of Brett Hundley’s hand 2.16 seconds after it was snapped. It is nearly impossible for any defensive lineman to come up with a sack when that is the outcome on a continual basis.
Garrett has five sacks in eight games played. That is a half sack more than Joey Bosa’s results at the same time in his rookie season, and let us not forget that J.J. Watt had five and a half sacks in 16 games his rookie season. Also, don’t forget Jadeveon Clowney’s rookie season struggles as well. Garrett is the 14th best defensive end in the NFL this year according to PFF, and that number is accurate when you closely watch each play. We all want Garrett to be a “generational talent” right away, but NFL progress isn’t always linear and it doesn’t happen overnight. I trust what I am seeing from Myles Garrett will only keep getting better.