4. The pass rush
Listing position groups is a kind of a cop out, but you don’t put Myles Garrett on stock down list. Nor should Jadeveon Clowney be here, but the lack of a pass rush on Sunday was evident and everyone’s wondering why Cleveland’s $100 million man and his teammates can’t get to the other team’s quarterback.
You can’t put the entire blame of the world on Garrett and Clowney because, heck, the entire defense is a mess.
But expecting a little more is fair. I know, Garrett is double teamed all the time. Plus, in this one he was matched up against a tough adversary in Laremy Tunsil.
But since so much attention is being paid to Garrett, shouldn’t that create opportunities elsewhere on the line? You can bet Aaron Donald gets multiple blockers thrown his way, but the expectation is that he’s going to get a sack or two every single game. Now, he didn’t yesterday, but he still was credited with 7.0 tackles, with one going for a loss.
Garrett talked about in the postgame about everyone one the line being new, with the exception of he and Porter Gustin. Fair enough. The defense is a work in progress, but this excuse won’t fly in Decemberr.
PFF noted that defensive tackle Malik Jackson was the team’s most prolific pass rusher, notching three pressures on 24 pass rushing snaps. Clowney had four, but the analytically oriented website those were charted as “clean-up” plays or plays where he wasn’t blocked.