It seems like each week, we’re talking about the Patriots facing the best pass rush they’ve faced this season. That’s once again the case this week, leading into Sunday’s meeting with the Cleveland Browns.
Cleveland’s edge rushing duo is made up of NFL sack leader Myles Garrett – who has gotten to the quarterback 12 times so far this year – and newly-signed Jadeveon Clowney. As a group, the Browns’ defense is second in the league with 27 sacks, and ranks third with 37 knockdowns. That’s all despite blitzing just 20.8 percent of the time, which ranks in the bottom third of the league.
If the Patriots want to be able to go punch-for-punch with a physical Cleveland team, they’ll have to hold off that pass rush and protect Mac Jones. At the same time, they’ll need to generate pressure of their own and make life difficult on an injured Baker Mayfield, who may not have a full-strength rushing attack to make his life easier.
Where are the most intriguing head-to-head battles in the trenches? Let’s take a look with this week’s key matchups…