Much like many of his defensive teammates, Myles Garrett is frustrated.
Frustrated in how the defense has underperformed. Frustrated that the Browns have lost winnable games. Frustrated that he hasn't done more to help them win.
"Pissed off and ready for another round," Garrett said Friday. "Hate losing. This team hates losing."
After being held without a sack his last two games, Garrett is looking to elevate his play — and help the rest of the defense do the same — Sunday against the Patriots. The Browns are looking to prevent a three-game losing streak, which would be only the second time that's happened under Kevin Stefanski since he became head coach in 2020.
The Browns are feeling a sense of urgency to change results now.
The bulk of the change will have to happen on defense, which has struggled to escape inconsistent play in the first five games and has been particularly gashed in the run department the last two weeks. The Browns have allowed 440 rushing yards in that period, a trend that must stop for them to have a good shot to win against the Patriots, whose running back, Rhamondre Stevenson, rushed for 161 yards last week.
"It's just gap integrity and execution," Garrett said. "People need to stay in their gaps, not trying to be superhuman or play the hero on every run down or pass down. Understand your gap and do your job. We have a lot of guys who can do their job well and not worried about those next to them doing theirs."
Check out photos of players and coaches working to prepare for the teams regular season game against the New England Patriots
Increased pressure on the QB should help, too.
The Browns are tied for 24th in the league with nine sacks, a number that seems low for a defensive line that holds two Pro Bowlers in Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. Garrett has three of those sacks, and he admitted that he hasn't played at the level he had hoped so far this season.
"As far as playmaking, I'm not having as many opportunities to make as many plays as I want to," he said. "I'm not being the dominant force that I know that I can be. I know it's a combination of things. Not all of them are in my control, so I can only play my position and play it to the best of my ability."
Garrett has been the most double-teamed edge rusher in the NFL and will face another heavy dose of them against the Patriots.
DE Jadeveon Clowney was ruled out Sunday due to ankle, knee and elbow injuries, which means Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will send plenty of blocking help in Garrett's direction as a result. Garrett is certain that Belichick "will have something very special for us and probably for me" and takes the game plans as a sign of respect.
But he knows he must continue to adapt and find ways to make plays.
"Have to keep on fighting," he said. "I don't think it's going to change anytime soon. I'm getting a lot of respect from different players and coaches, and they are scheming towards me to try to stop me. It's a huge sign of respect, but I have to show them that it's not going to work."
Garrett is one sack away from leaping Clay Matthews as the Browns' all-time career sack leader. He's a half-sack off from Matthews' 62 career QB takedowns.
Clearing that record Sunday would signal a step in the right direction for Garrett, but it'll take an improved day from the entire defense to right the ship and down the Patriots.
"(All games) feel critical," Garrett said. "You never want to lose back-to-back, and we definitely don't want to go on a skid longer than that. Each one is important in its own right, but we have to break this skid and get going."