Cleveland Browns vs Broncos: 3 Matchups to watch in Week 9
2. Von Miller vs. Chris Hubbard
Whenever a premier edge rusher is on the schedule, all eyes tend to look at the left tackle. For Cleveland, that would be Justin McCray who has just one start under his belt after he took over for Greg Robinson a week ago. However, when facing the Broncos, their star pass rusher comes from the opposite side as Von Miller usually lines up against the opposing team’s right tackle.
Of course, he could always move around but the majority of the time, this is where you will see No. 58. That means the Browns are going to need Chris Hubbard to be on top of his game.
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Miller enters this week with just four sacks as he and the entire defense has had a slow start. Things got even worse for them when second-year outside linebacker Bradley Chubb (cousin to Nick Chubb) tore his ACL. Even so, the Browns have to be prepared for a player who can completely take over games, because that’s exactly what Miller can do when he finds a matchup he likes.
As for Hubbard, he has been far from stellar since joining the Browns last season as a free agent. General manager John Dorsey gave the former Pittsburgh Steeler a five-year $37.5 million contract ahead of the 2018 season and so far, it looks as though they misjudged his talent.
Last season, Hubbard was graded at 65.1 according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). That wasn’t ideal but it also wasn’t terrible. However, things have gotten worse this season as he’s ranked 70th at his position heading into Week 9 according to PFF with a score of 48.5
This is a matchup that favors Denver and if Cleveland doesn’t do something to help Hubbard get in a position to win the battle, things could get ugly.
For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, subscribe to PFF’s EDGE or ELITE subscriptions at ProFootballFocus.com.