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Meat Eater Matchup: Steelers vs. Browns, Week 18

With the Cleveland Browns coming to town for the 2022 regular season finale, AND hoping that the Steelers find their way into the playoffs, we present the last regular season "Classic Jurassic Meat-Eater Matchup."

And of course, this being the Browns, there is one matchup that just will always rise to the surface regarding the importance of the matchup. And that is the Dan Moore versus Myles Garrett tango of two of the biggest T-Rexes to have at it in the confines of Acrisure Stadium.

In the last go-round, Garrett failed to record a sack. That in and of itself, is no small victory. Sure, the Browns' All-Pro defensive end was double-teamed and chipped at times, as is the case with what the Browns do to T.J. Watt. 

But in that first game, the third week of this season, Garrett was credited with just assisted tackles. In other words, Moore did a pretty dad-gum good job.

But, as is the case in divisional games, there is always another opportunity to get after it, and these two certainly will. 

Round 2 comes on the heels of Garrett whacking the Washington Commanders with an 8-tackle, 1.5-sack performance in a 24-10 win last week.

Overall, the 6-foot-4, 280-pound defensive end has 53-combined tackles along with 15 sacks. No other Browns player has more than 3 sacks. 

Garrett is that quarterback hunter who as an offensive lineman, you have to rise to, meet and defeat as a challenge twice a year if your name is Dan Moore. 

Garrett is a power and speed rusher. He has length and "bend-ability," which means he can dip and rip with an emphasis on the dip part, even at his height. Garrett has outstanding athleticism and is quick off the snap of the ball, demonstrating power. He also is violent at the point of attack. 

Garrett can turn the game at any point in time

Obviously, the Steelers will use some backup in their pass-protection arsenal. Putting the 6-foot-12 tight end Zach Gentry next to Moore will help. And, on occasion, using a back to chip also cuts down on the amount of rampaging Garrett can do. 

The third thing the Steelers can do to help Moore is have the wall where everybody from the center over takes their outside gap. This allows Moore to concentrate on taking away what Garrett does best, which is to get the edge.

To counter that, the Browns will run twist-stunts to get Garrett some help. Using his speed, Garrett has great quickness as a trailer and certainly can act as the penetrator as well. 

They will also have Garrett stand up over one of the opposing linemen in what Garrett thinks will give him an advantage. It's what I refer to as a "Pigeon" rush, meaning he's looking for the guy he thinks he has the best opportunity to beat. And that guy, of course, is the "Pigeon."

Making sure to run the ball with success is another way to control the amount of damage Garrett can inflict. Getting wins on first and second downs to give you makeable third downs of 4-yards or less is critical. You have to stay away from third-and-8 or longer.

When Garrett has a chance to tee off and not bother with reading his run keys, it gives him an advantage. This is where a multiple sacker such as Garrett can use his speed and quickness to annihilate the quarterback. 

Having the home field advantage at Acrisure Stadium will ensure Moore can hear the snap count, rather than going with a silent count. The silent count is tough on offensive linemen. All their lives, linemen have learned to respond to the snap count, and defensive linemen respond by sight. So when you're in an away game, and the crowd is loud, forcing a silent count, it's a headache all day for a hog.

Nevertheless, the moments of confrontation between Moore and Garrett will happen in the drop-back, and in those moments Moore has to keep his head — and I mean this literally — back. He can't get caught leaning forward. That's when Garrett will hit him with the arm-over swim. 

Where Moore can help himself by using his long arms to tag Garrett with the punch, using a good solid kick-step to keep his balance in motion, which is of primary importance for an offensive tackle.

Divisional games are rough. They are what you draft for, what you build your team around. You draft to nullify, to beat and win these respective battles. Dan Moore was drafted to do battle with Myles Garrett. And he's battled well.

Let the Meat-Eater Matchup begin!

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