The Las Vegas Raiders offensive line will face a mighty test on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns as they look to keep quarterback Derek Carr upright with a hungry Myles Garrett hunting him on the field.
The Browns star defensive end is making a push for Defensive Player of the Year, piling up league-best 9 sacks to go with 4 forced fumbles. He’s made a consistent difference every time he lines up, leading Raiders coach Jon Gruden to wish he was on their side in silver and black rather than orange and brown.
#Raiders coach Jon Gruden on Myles Garrett: “He’s got a factor about him. I wish we had Garrett”
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) October 28, 2020
“We have a thing we call it a ‘factor grade,’ not just the sacks,” Gruden explained while speaking to the media on Wednesday. “Everybody counts sacks. That is like the only thing they count anymore is sacks. This guy forces fumbles. He causes other sacks for other people. He is good against the run. He bats passes down. His arms are up in the air. He forces inaccurate balls. He has a factor about him. His presence is felt a lot. He can play left end, right end or they can push him inside, and he is a factor wherever he plays. I wish we had Garrett, and I look forward to seeing him. I always look forward to competing with the best ones.”
Raiders Offensive Line Coming Off Rough Week
The Raiders offensive line was walloped by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tough front last week in a 45-20 loss, letting Carr get sacked three times. But there was a reason for that. Four offensive linemen who started the game practiced just once during the week leading up due to a COVID-19 situation and tackle Trent Brown missed the game after his positive test. On top of the, starting guard Gabe Jackson was ejected in the third quarter.
“Football is a game that needs to be practiced,” Carr said. “It’s a game of team, and when you don’t have all your guys out there, it’s tough throughout the week. With that said, I’m very proud of them for coming in against that multiple front, multiple blitz operation. … And being able to play the way that they’re able to play. They did a fantastic job.”
Derek Carr is "very proud of the offensive line, the starters and the backups. This week was unlike anything we have ever seen. ..
"Football is a game that needs to be practiced."
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) October 26, 2020
Carr has played well this season, racking up 1,726 yards, 13 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. He’s also been to deliver on some deep shots to the Raiders speedy wide receivers.
“He has played really good for us, and I think he has been playing really good for us for a while,” Gruden said, citing that the team’s supporting case has also improved. “We get our line healthy, I think he can play even better. He is doing a lot of things well. He is seeing the field well, he is taking care of the football and he is putting points on the board and moving our team.”
Myles Garrett Misses Practice as a ‘Precaution’
Garrett missed practice on Wednesday with an ankle injury but head coach Kevin Stefanski assured that it was only a precautionary to give their star pass-rusher some time off.
#Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said the team is holding out DE Myles Garrett (ankle) today to be cautious
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) October 28, 2020
“Just being cautious,” Stefanski said in his press conference Wednesday. “I’d expect that [Garrett returns Thursday], but we’ll gather more information and know more later in the week.”
It’s no secret that Garrett is the motor to a defense that forces turnovers but also allows points in bunches. The Browns lead the league with 14 forced turnovers (7 fumbles recovered and 7 interceptions) but are giving up 31.6 points per game, the fourth-worst figure in the league.