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After giving up 84 points in the last two games, the Cleveland Browns defense sorely needs to step up. With all the critical injuries on offense, it’s even more imperative.
To that end, defensive end Myles Garrett called a players-only meeting this week in advance of Thursday night’s key matchup with the Denver Broncos. Garrett and his mates have not played to the talent level or capability they demonstrated in allowing just 13 points in the two games prior to the ugly losses.
“Myles brought us up, and we had a conversation with the defense,” DT Malik Jackson said via USA TODAY. “He just told us we need to to get it together. Giving up [more than] 80 points in two weeks is unacceptable. So no matter what position we’re put in, we want to be great. We need to make stands and push people back and leave no points on the board, just really go out there and be exactly who we need to be and being consistent and just playing together — no MEs [mental errors], really.”
Eliminating the mental errors and breakdowns will go a long way toward healing what currently ails the Browns defense. The unit has more individual talent than it has shown in the losses to the Chargers and Cardinals. Garrett’s decision to rally the troops around themselves could be the spark they need to recapture the spirit of Weeks 3-4, when the Browns defense suffocated the Vikings and Bears in dominating fashion.
That strong outburst followed another players-only session after a lackluster performance in the Week 2 win over the Houston Texans. The Browns are 3-3 on the season and rank second in total yards allowed per game (307.2) but sit 22nd in points per game (25.2) surrendered by the defense. Preventing the breakdowns that allow too many big plays needs to be the focus for Garrett and the defense.