Browns’ Myles Garrett as good as advertised in tie against Steelers
CLEVELAND — Myles Garrett and the Cleveland Browns came after Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger early and often Sunday in a 21-21 tie at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 draft, had two of the Browns’ four sacks of Roethlisberger, who also threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles against a defense he typically dominates.
Roethlisberger is the career wins leader for a quarterback at FirstEnergy Stadium, and he was 21-2 lifetime against the Browns entering the game.
But this was the first time he took snaps with Garrett pursuing him from the other side of the line of scrimmage. Last season, Garrett did not play in the opener, and Roethlisberger was held out of rematch because the Steelers’ playoff positioning already had been determined.
Roethlisberger hadn’t been sacked four times in a game since Week 3 of the 2016 season, against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“We expected (the Browns) mixing things up, bringing pressure, dropping back,” Roethlisberger said after completing 23 of 41 passes for 335 yards and one touchdown for a 60.5 passer rating. “Give them credit. They made plays today.”
Garrett made his share. He finished with a career-high six tackles, one pass defensed and he forced two fumbles.
“I’m being the person they got from the draft,” said Garrett, who had seven sacks in 11 games as a rookie. “I am finally healthy, and I’m just trying to be the guy to make the plays when we need them.”
Garrett was matched up against Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who was called for holding in the fourth quarter while trying to block the defensive lineman. Villanueva was flagged for holding just twice in 2017 when he was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time.
“I came up short,” Villanueva said. “He’s a really good player, but I’ve got to block him so it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to block him. He was getting off the ball pretty fast. He was timing it well.”
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at [email protected] or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.