Derek Carr vs. Myles Garrett
The Silver and Black's offensive line will definitely need to be clicking on all cylinders this Sunday for the sake of their quarterback.
Derek Carr will be facing off against the potential 2020 NFL Defensive Player of the Year on the other side of the line of scrimmage in Myles Garrett.
Garrett has showcased elite pass-rushing abilities since entering the league as the No. 1 pick of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M, playing at peak level in his fourth season and leading the league in sacks (9). He's also on a six-game streak of having at least one sack.
"He's unique," Coach Gruden said of Garrett. "He can play right end, left end, he can go inside. He's a complete, every-down difference maker."
Derek Carr is fully aware of what Garrett and the Browns defensive line brings to the table, as they've complied 18 sacks this season. After breaking off for a couple of runs against the Buccaneers defense with the pocket collapsing, he's prepared to do more of that against the Browns defense if needed.
"It's not something I'm consciously thinking about, but when you do play dominant pass rushers like Myles (Garrett) … sometimes lanes can open and you can take off and make big plays with your legs, get a first down here and there," said Derek Carr.
"It's just part of how Coach (Gruden) coaches me and it's a part of second nature now where I can extend and get out and run or make a play throwing it."
Trayvon Mullen vs. Jarvis Landry
Coming into this game we all thought Trayvon Mullen's key matchup this week would've been against another Browns receiver.
Odell Beckham Jr. has been ruled out for the rest of the regular season after tearing his ACL Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. OBJ was enjoying a productive season before his injury leading his team in targets and second on his team in receptions (23), yards (319) and touchdowns (3).
Despite the former All-Pro receiver being out, Mullen matchup with Jarvis Landry could prove to be more difficult than if he was covering Beckham. Landry currently leads the Browns in receptions and receiving yards and has been Baker Mayfield's go-to receiver since the Browns drafted the quarterback No. 1 overall in 2018.
Mullen has had some success covering some of the best in the league including Mike Evans, Emmanuel Sanders, Tyreek Hill and Julian Edelman. With Johnathan Abram set to come back being removed from COVID reserve, Mullen will have that much help in ensuring he can lock down another Pro Bowl receiver in Jarvis Landry this Sunday.
Josh Jacobs vs. Kareem Hunt
The two star running backs with Oklahoma roots will both be key components for their retrospective offenses' success.
Jacobs and Hunt have both outperformed what many thought their value was coming out of Alabama and Toledo and shown they can be feature backs in their offense. Jacobs currently has 377 rushing yards and five touchdowns, as Hunt has 463 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Hunt has also been a weapon for the Browns in their passing game, leading the Browns in receiving touchdowns this season (4).
Coming off a 17-yard game against the Buccaneers, Jacobs was "embarrassed" by his performance and is continuously trying to improve his game moving forward through the season.
"I'm my hardest critic on myself honestly," said Jacobs. "I try to come out everyday in practice and nit-pick little things I can get better in, especially in the run game. I'm just trying to be more patient, trying to hit things, trying not to think so much and just go out there and run.
View assistant photographer Matt Aguirre's best photos from Allegiant Stadium's catwalk during the Las Vegas Raiders matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.