The Cleveland Browns saved their season by picking up a huge victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football to finish up Week 8. That pushed the Browns’ record to 3-5 as they head into their bye and regroup for the second half of the year.
A big reason that the Browns were able to defeat the Bengals in the fashion that they did was the performance of their defense. Cleveland’s defense has been underwhelming in some areas in 2022, failing to hold onto some big leads at the end of games. That didn’t occur against Cincinnati as Cleveland lived in their offensive backfield.
The Browns had five sacks on the evening to go with four tackles for loss and seven quarterback hits. Not surprisingly, it was Myles Garrett leading the way. Garrett finished the game with 1.5 sacks, one pass defended, one tackle for loss and four quarterback hits.
Despite the Browns’ defense struggling overall, Garrett has been doing his part as one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. According to PFF, he has been the most disruptive pass rusher in the league with 41 pressures through Week 8 despite playing in only seven out of the team’s eight games.
Just behind him on the list are Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys and Matt Judon of the New England Patriots with 39 apiece. Rounding out the top five is Za’Darius Smith of the Minnesota Vikings with 37 and Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers with 36.
Despite not getting much help along the defensive front from anyone other than Jadeveon Clowney, Garrett is still putting together a great season. He is well on his way to his fifth consecutive season with double-digit sacks as he already has 7.5.
To round out his stat line, he has 22 combined tackles, eight of which were for loss, with 11 quarterback hits, two passes defended and two forced fumbles. If anyone else on the defense can step up alongside Garrett, this is a unit that should be able to turn things around over the final nine games of the regular season and make a push for the playoffs.