The glitz and glamour of Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. garnered nuclear levels of hype during the offseason. But the focal point of the Cleveland Browns offense should be their nearly silent running back, Nick Chubb.
Before the start of the 2019 NFL season, the Dawg Pound was expecting the Cleveland Browns offensive attack to look much like a Big XII college offense. Baker Mayfield slinging it all over the gridiron, Freddie Kitchens digging deep into his bag of tricks week in and week out, and the best-friend duo of Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry making fantastical circus catches every single game.
The Dawg Pound, it seemed, would be rocking like never before. But then, astonishingly, the Browns struggled out of the gate.
A 30-point loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 1 saw second-year Baker Mayfield throw three interceptions to just one touchdown. On Monday Night Football in Week 2, the Browns were able to handle the short-handed New York Jets.
More from Browns News
- How the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023
- Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?
- 3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should not
- Is Marcus Davenport on the Browns radar in 2023?
- 5 Free agents from Super Bowl LVII Cleveland Browns should target
However, Cleveland fans were still left largely unimpressed as their team’s offense still failed to click into place. A close loss to the Los Angeles Rams posed more questions about Freddie Kitchens’ red zone play-calling.
Then came Week 4, a Sunday afternoon matchup with the divisional rival Baltimore Ravens. Despite a first drive that resulted in a three and out, the Browns were determined to get their offense working at a respectable clip. The key to unlocking Cleveland’s offense? Running back Nick Chubb.
Amongst a team of emotional players led by a lightning rod, gunslinging quarterback, Chubb’s cool head and consistency prevailed against the Ravens in Week 4. Chubb wore down the Ravens to the tune of 165 rushing yards, three touchdowns, and one 88-yard score which proved to be the dagger delivered by the Browns.
Nick Chubb unlocked Cleveland’s offense, which (finally) looked like the juggernaut it did under Kitchens’ tenure as offensive coordinator in 2018.
Kitchens’ increased use of the running game opened up the offense, keeping the Ravens guessing throughout the game, and making them pay each and every time they guessed wrong.
The burst shown by Chubb during his tenure with the Browns cements two statements. First, he is fully healed from the injury he suffered at Georgia. Not only that, but he is better than ever.
One and a quarter year into his pro tenure, the Browns can rest assured that Chubb’s knee injury is no longer bothering him. The running back’s performances speak for themselves.
Moving forward, Chubb should not only see increased carries but a much larger role in the offense as a whole. His presence as not only a powerful rusher but a receiver out of the backfield shows his value to Cleveland’s offense.
Chubb’s wrecking ball style provides a spark for the Browns, opening up a world of possibilities for Freddie Kitchens’ playbook.