Most will take a look at this title and think about the interception that quarterback Baker Mayfield threw. It led to the Patriots having the ball near the goal line and it was practically a gift-wrapped touchdown because of that garbage read and throw into double-coverage. I cringe just thinking about that pass.
However, I wanted to analyze another play.
I tend to harp on the fact that there is this idea of the glorification of DE Myles Garrett. This is rightfully so and the man is a beast on the line. However, he cannot be a LeBron James. What I mean by this is he can only have so much domination within a total game because of the position he plays.
The Browns are up 7-0 and the aforementioned Garrett sacks QB Mac Jones on a 2nd and 6 from the Cleveland 16 to make it 3rd and 13.
This is the play.
Instead of the Browns defense stopping the Pats on 3rd and 13 to make it 4th down, Jones is able to connect with WR Brandon Bolden for a 20-yard gain and make it 1st and goal. Garrett’s play goes to waste and he is unable to stop the Pats on the following play along with the rest of the defense. This turns out to be a touchdown for the Pats.
The Browns could’ve ended the first quarter with the ball up 7-3 or 7-0 instead of 7-7. The team could’ve taken that momentum and used it to their advantage to build upon the lead in the second quarter towards the half.
Now, does a stop guarantee a Browns win? Of course not. They still may have lost by a bunch.
However, good teams make those types of stops. They don’t allow the 3rd and 13’s to be converted. It also simply goes to show that Myles Garrett can only do so much himself. Defense in the NFL is a complete deal with everyone involved.