CLEVELAND — Entering the 2020 season, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett had his sights set on winning the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
So far, so good.
Through seven games, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft has posting league-highs of nine sacks and four forced fumbles, to go along with five tackles for a loss and two fumble recoveries. For his efforts, Garrett has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for the month of October, in which he recorded six sacks, two forced fumbles, four tackles for a loss and eight quarterback hits.
In that span, the Browns have amassed a 3-1 record, with their overall 5-2 record marking their best start since the 1994 season.
Garrett has been one of the biggest -- if not the biggest -- reason for Cleveland's strong start, with his knack for tallying strip-sacks providing game-altering plays for a Browns defense that has largely struggled to stop opposing offenses from moving the ball through the first seven games of the 2020 campaign.
A Pro Bowl selection in 2018, Garrett recorded 10 sacks through the first 10 games of the 2019 season before being suspended for the final six games following a fight with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, in which he hit Rudolph over the head with his helmet.
After signing a 5-year, $125 million extension, which at the time made him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL, this past offseason, Garrett discussed he desire to establish himself as the top defender in the entire NFL.
"I don’t want to be the same player I was last year; I want to be better in all aspects,‘' Garrett said in July. "Even on [last season's] trajectory, I was known to be in the [Defensive] Player of the Year conversation.
So I don't want to make it a conversation anymore. This next year, I want to ball out and win that award, but I want to take my team to the playoffs and even higher than that."