The Cleveland Browns offense failed to establish a run game during the preseason opener, but fans should not be concerned….Yet.
One of the biggest takeaways from the Cleveland Browns preseason opener was how bad the run game looked.
Over the course of the game, the Browns made 33 rushing attempts, but only put together 50 total rushing yards. None of the Browns three running backs accomplished much, although Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson each only ran the ball once.
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The Browns first-team offense was only on the field for eight snaps, so Hyde and Johnson are non-factors in this conversation.
But watching rookie Nick Chubb and the second-team offense try to run the ball was hard to watch. No matter if it was an inside run or outside run, Chubb was getting hit in the backfield almost instantly.
Chubb rushed the ball 15 times and gained only 11 yards. But Chubb did gain 26 yards after first contact, which goes to show how little resistance the second-team offensive line put up against the Giants.
But Browns fans should not freak out about the offensive lines run blocking just yet. Yes, the offensive line just seemed overpowered no matter who was in the game.
But most teams struggle to establish an efficient running game in the preseason. Most defenses sell out for the run during the preseason, often putting more defenders at the line of scrimmage than the offensive line can block.
One would hope that Chubb would have been more elusive and found some lanes to run through, but it was almost impossible for Chubb to find or create any running lanes.
The other factor in this is that most of the offensive line has been shuffled during training camp. Neither the first-team or second-team offensive linemen have received a lot of work together to build a solid chemistry.
But if the offensive line unit struggles throughout the entire preseason, that excuse cannot be used. Once Kevin Zeitler returns from injury, the Browns should have their starters and backups working together for most practices. If they still struggle to create any resistance by the fourth preseason, it could be a bad sign of things to come.
If the Browns run game is as inefficient the entire preseason like it was in the first game, then it would be understandable to have concerns. But fans should not freak out about the results of the team’s first preseason game.