Myles Garrett knows he can’t afford to miss Deshaun Watson Sunday

Garrett won’t compare himself to J.J. Watt as the 2 pass rushers meet again

Daryl Ruiter
November 30, 2018 - 8:40 pm

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Aside from winning more games in December, Myles Garrett still has lofty goals this season, including winning ‘Defensive Player of the Year.’

Unfortunately, as it stands, J.J. Watt of the Huston Texans is much closer to winning the award for a fourth time than Garrett is to winning it for the first.

To join the conversation that seems relegated to Watt and Aaron Donald of the Rams, Garrett will need to turn up the heat in the backfield and bag a few more quarterbacks down the stretch, starting Sunday against Deshaun Watson in Houston.

“He does give you a lot of opportunities, but those times you don’t get him, he’s throwing it to Hop [DeAndre Hopkins] for a touchdown,” Garrett said Friday. “So you have to make sure you get him to the ground. You can’t let him dance back there forever or extend it out. He can run it to the sideline, throw it up and Hop has found a way to get open.”

No one laments missed sacks quite like Garrett does. 

Watson has been sacked 37 times this season, but he’s also thrown for 2,807 yards while completing 66.1 percent of his passes, including 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

The Texans’ quarterback, healthy again, is a pick your poison player who has also added 345 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He averages over five yards per carry.

“He's quick, he's elusive and he can make plays down the field,” Garrett said. “So I have to make sure we can keep him in the box and trapped.”

Sunday’s game pits the Browns’ No. 1 pick in 2017 and top pass rusher against Watt, at least comparatively speaking, but don’t tell Garrett that. He’s not feeling any additional motivation this week compared to any other just because Watt is also on the field.

“He’s ahead of me so that’s a motivator,” Garrett said. “Other than that, not really. I know he’s a great player but we play with great players every week.”

Garrett swears that he doesn’t measure himself against the Texans’ defensive end, although he admitted that he does study him.

“He’s one of the best defensive linemen of this decade,” Garrett said.  

Garrett has 10 sacks and three forced fumbles this season while Watt has 11.5 sacks and five forced fumbles. Watt has 87.5 sacks and 20 forced fumbles in his career – a level Garrett and the Browns both hope he’s able to reach.

Through his first 22 career games Garrett is already ahead of Watt’s pace. Garrett has 17 sacks while Watt had 15.

While it’ll be fun to watch Garrett and Watt, the Browns’ decision to chose Garrett with the top pick and pass twice at the opportunity to take Watson, including the trade with Houston where the Texas picked him 12th in 2017, remains another subplot this weekend.

“Just gotta prove that they made the right choice,” Garrett said.

Browns interim head coach and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams studied Watson leading up to the draft but would do exactly what the Browns did if given the chance to do it all over again.

“Yes, I would,” Williams said.  

Watson led the Texans to a 33-17 win over the Browns last year and he’s the second player in NFL history to pass for 4,500 yards and 35 touchdowns in his first 18 games, joining Hall of Famer Kurt Warner.

He can join Warner and fellow Hall of Famer Dan Marino as the only players with 40 passing touchdowns in their first 19 games if he throws a TD against the Browns Sunday.

Hindsight is always 20-20 and the NFL Draft is a second-guesser’s paradise, but from WIlliams' perspective – and the Browns' for that matter – there's nothing to rethink when it comes to taking Garrett. 

“It is not anything to do knocking Deshaun at all how it ended up with him,” Williams said. “People saw how much they wanted him with the interest level down there of what the Texans went about doing it. Pretty good here, too, on how it has all shaped out. Whoever could predict their future did a good job.”