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Matchup to Watch

Matchup to Watch: Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon vs. Jets LT Mekhi Becton

Browns pressuring Sam Darnold from the blind side will stymie Jets offense

The Jets are winless no more after a 23-20 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 15, so they will be riding high when they take on the Browns at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. 

In addition to a strong defensive performance, the Jets got a very efficient day from quarterback Sam Darnold, who was 22-of-31 passing for 207 yards and one touchdown. That was easily Darnold's best game of the year, and part of the reason why he was so comfortable was the great protection by his rookie left tackle, Mekhi Becton.  

The 2020 NFL Draft was loaded with tackle talent, as the success of our own Jedrick Wills Jr. and many other can attest, but none of the prospects were as large, literally, as Becton. He stands at 6-foot-7 and weighs in at a whopping 369 pounds, which makes him the biggest tackle in the NFL. He is also playing his best football at the moment, having not allowed more than one pressure in four of his last five games. Over the last two weeks, Becton has allowed just one quarterback pressure on 65 total pass blocking snaps against the excellent pass rushers of the Rams and the Seattle Seahawks.

This week, Becton will be tested by one of the most productive pass rushing tandems in the NFL. Myles Garrett (11 sacks) and Olivier Vernon (seven sacks) have 18 combined sacks this season, the fourth-most of any pass rushing tandem in the league. Garrett or Vernon has had a sack in 11 of the Browns 14 games this year, and they will be looking to get another against Becton and the Jets on Sunday. You could say this one truly is the irresistible force of the Browns talented defensive ends against the immovable object that is the mountain of a man in Becton.

As is always the case with quarterbacks, pressure has a significant impact on their ability to be productive, and Darnold is no exception. When under pressure this year, Darnold is completing just 46 percent of his passes, averaging just over 5 yards per attempt, has a 2-to-1 interception to touchdown ratio and a quarterback rating of only 53.9. Watching the massive Becton try to deal with the speed and physics-defying, low-to-the-ground bend of Garrett will be a treat to watch. 

If Garrett (or Vernon when lined up on the right side) gets the better of that matchup, it should lead directly to the sacks and turnovers our defense craves.

Check out the best photos from the Browns win over the Giants last week by the Browns photo team

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