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Myles Garrett not focused on 'individual glory' with Browns single-season sack record in reach

Garrett’s sole focus is pushing the Browns to the playoffs, not about spots on a franchise or league leaderboard

Myles Garrett is one sack away from adding yet another major franchise record to his resume, but the All-Pro defensive end isn't prioritizing any personal achievements as the Browns hunt for a playoff spot.

The postseason is all that matters to Garrett. His 14-sack season so far is one of his best since he was drafted first overall by the Browns in 2017, but he made it clear that the record — or any other personal accolade — wasn't on his mind as he prepares for a crucial matchup Sunday against the Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. 

That includes the NFL sack leaderboard, too, where Garrett fell to second last week when Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt passed him by recording his 16th sack of the season.

"Nothing matters if we don't make the playoffs," Garrett said. "I mean, (Defensive Player of the Year) is nice, but I want to be remembered for bringing some Super Bowls here. I know Baker (Mayfield) does, and everybody else does. The individual glory will come and go, but the city will remember a Super Bowl."

Garrett has kept his focus on team goals rather than personal achievements all season. That stance was first presented by Garrett in Week 3, when he recorded a team-record 4.5 sacks against the Bears. He was happy about his performance, but the most important part of the game for him was the Browns grabbing a win.

In Week 12, when he tied Reggie Camp's record of 14 sacks in a single season, Garrett had little interest in speaking about what the performance meant. The Browns lost, 16-10, to Baltimore and missed a chance to climb the playoff ladder. Garrett's mind was on the final result, not one play.

"It didn't matter if I had five sacks today," Garrett said after the game. "(In) a loss, it doesn't mean anything. I want to win this battle more than anybody."

The Browns likely will need Garrett to claim the record Sunday for them to slow down Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, one of the most elusive players in the league. Cleveland did a tremendous job containing Jackson in Week 12 when he was intercepted four times and sacked twice. The game was Jackson's worst of the season, yet the Ravens still found a way to win.

The loss stung Garrett and the rest of the defense, which is striving to be even better in the rematch. A win is imperative for the Browns, who are 6-6 and likely need to win their final five regular season games to control their playoff destiny.

More sacks from Garrett will go a long way toward making that happen. He's committed to finding them, but solely for the benefit of the team's goal and not for any personal recognition.

"If we don't win anything," Garrett said, "our names won't go down and be remembered for anything."

So how can the Browns find a win this week? Slowing down Jackson will once again be the top priority, and the Browns — and other teams — have made some progress in recent weeks

Jackson has thrown eight interceptions and four touchdowns in the Ravens' last four games, and one key that's appeared to work against him is bringing a heavy blitz. Executing such a plan helps when there's two dominant edge rushers on the D-Line. The Browns check that box with Garrett and Pro Bowl DE Jadeveon Clowney.

But a blitz means little if the rushers can't penetrate the pocket. 

That's a challenge Garrett has succeeded at frequently in 2021, but he's pushing the rest of his D-Line teammates to do the same — and he knows no personal record or spot on a leaderboard can factor into that.

"Everybody has to play to their strengths," Garrett said, "and if we choose to do that, then we'll go out there and follow the recipe that's been laid out before us. We'll have to see what they do Sunday and play off that."

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