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Myles Garrett Can See Browns Winning Out, Making Playoffs




Browns defensive end Myles Garrett.

Halfway through their schedule, the Cleveland Browns are a very disappointing 2-6 and the team’s playoff hopes are dwindling.

After their latest loss to the Broncos and backup quarterback Brandon Allen, the Browns chance at making the playoffs shrunk to just over 7%, according to ESPN Stats and Information. Only the winless Cincinnati Bengals have a lower chance to make the postseason.

That being said, the Browns are not content to give up their quest for the franchise’s first playoff berth since 2002. Pro Bowl defensive end Myles Garret is premier among the believers that Cleveland could end up finishing with a 10-6 record, which would require running the table.

“I don’t see why we can’t be 10-6,” Garrett told reporters on Friday. “We can make a run for it.”

Garrett has done his part, with 27 tackles and 10 sacks this season — just a half-sack off the NFL lead. Pro Football Focus has Garrett as the top-ranked pass-rusher this season. Here’s what they had to say about the Browns big man.

When Garrett claimed he was only allowed to use two pass-rushing moves by last season by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, we had a hunch he’d be in for a monster season. With those two moves in 2018, Garrett racked up 67 pressures and an 86.2 pass-rushing grade. Now, he’s over halfway there already, with 36 pressures and a 91.3 pass-rushing grade on the year.

Myles Garrett Will Get More Attention With Olivier Vernon Out

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett.

Garrett popped up on the injury report with a knee ailment, but it isn’t serious and — thankfully for the Browns — he doesn’t expect to miss any time.

“Bumps and bruises you get throughout the season but nothing is gonna stop me,” he said.

However, the team did reveal some bad news on Friday, as starting defensive end Olivier Vernon and safety Eric Murray were ruled out. Both are dealing with knee injuries. Safety Damarious Randall, tight end Ricky Seals Jones and offensive tackle Kendal Lamm are questionable.

Vernon was acquired by the Browns in the offseason after a Pro Bowl campaign with the Giants. His absence will likely lead to Garrett seeing more attention than normal, which is saying something considering he was already a massive target for opposing offenses to slow down.

Chad Thomas, Chris Smith Expected to Fill in for Olivier Vernon

Second-year defensive end Chad Thomas is expected to slide into the starting role with Vernon out. It will be Thomas’ first career start. He’s tallied eight tackles and one sack in his career. Chris Smith will also see time, as it will likely be a committee approach to replace Vernon’s snaps.

“He’s a leader on defense, but we got some guys behind him who we are expecting to go in and play well. They’ll get a chance to show what they can do,” Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said. “Our expectations are high for Chad and their high for himself.”

A bigger problem is the to Randall, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. With the team releasing Jermaine Whitehead following his social media tirade, Justin Burris and rookie Sheldrick Redwine would be forced into more action if Randall missed the game. However, the is optimism that Randall will return.

The Browns face the Bills on Sunday and are a 3-point favorite for the game.

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