AFC North Buzz: Lamar Jackson’s biggest test, Myles Garrett's dominance rewarded plus Bengals, Steelers news

AFC North: Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes face off in a battle of the best quarterbacks plus other news impacting the division.
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens / Kirby Lee/GettyImages
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AFC North news: Myles Garrett is your 2023 Defensive Player of the Year

When you look around the NFL this season, there was no defensive player more dominant than Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett.  On Wednesday, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft was named by the Professional Football Writers of America as their Defensive Player of the Year.

While the season didn’t end like Garrett would’ve liked, his defensive impact this season helped launch the Browns into the playoffs despite the carousel at quarterback due to injuries.  With 14 sacks, 42 combined tackles and four forced fumbles, Garrett was a beast along the defensive line and a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks with 30 quarterback hits.

Myles Garrett
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

In all, Garrett is having proven why he was selected No. 1 overall and the classic example of how a big impact player coming out of college can influence an NFL defense.

"For us, seeing Myles from when we drafted them number one overall at Texas A&M and to see the work and effort that he's put into it behind the scenes – obviously, everybody knows he's talented – but we view him as a player who's been dominant and super productive ever since he's entered the league," Browns general manager Andrew Berry said on Jan. 23 about Garrett. "So, just having a historically great player on a historically great defense and everything we were accomplished this year, with him being a huge part of it."

The team did get bounced out of the playoffs in the Wild Card round, but the future is bright for a Browns team that housed the top defense in the NFL in 2023 led by the most dominant defensive player in the NFL.  Get their offense rolling and you can bet on the Cleveland Browns in 2024.