Cleveland Browns: 1,408 yards rushing, 1961 vs 2019

CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 13: Nick Chubb #24 of the Cleveland Browns runs the ball against the Seattle Seahawks at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 13: Nick Chubb #24 of the Cleveland Browns runs the ball against the Seattle Seahawks at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb has 1,408 yards rushing on the season. Not only does he lead the league in rushing yards, but he also has tied the great Jim Brown for the fifth-best single-season a Browns running back has ever had. We take a deep dive into both running backs 1,408 yards rushing.

Disclaimer! Before you go any further, please take note. The purpose of this article is not to say that Nick Chubb is the next Jim Brown, or that Chubb is as good as Brown, or that Chubb should be held to Brown’s standard. Nobody, even Chubb, should be judged by the greatness of Jim Brown. No young player deserves to have that kind of pressure placed upon them.

The NFL has been around for 100 years and there has only ever been one Jim Brown. The purpose of this article is simply to compare each player’s 1,408 yards rushing and the contrasts and similarities of the seasons they occurred in: 1961 vs 2019.

Comparing players from different eras is difficult to nearly impossible. Even though we are comparing rushing statistics, team wins, and individual accolades, it could never be an apples to apples scenario. Let us start by comparing what was similar between the two seasons.

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The idea behind this article was born when Chubb reached 1,408 yards rushing on the season. That number ties him and Brown as the fifth-best single rushing season in Cleveland Browns history. Both rushers reached that number in 14 games. Well, that does it for the apples to apples section of this article.

Chubb reached his 1,408 yards rushing on 270 attempts, whereas Brown rushed for the same yardage on 305 attempts. Brown averaged 4.6 yards per carry in 1961, which was the second-lowest average per carry of his illustrious career. Chubb’s per carry average is 5.2, which is also what it was his rookie year.

On top of his league-leading 1,408 yards in 1961, Brown also pulled in 46 receptions for 459 yards. Chubb has 35 receptions for 277 yards. Brown was much more the focal point of the 1961 Browns offense, outgaining Chubb by 182 yards from scrimmage and out-touching Chubb by 46. The majority of that can be attributed to Jim’s durability and Paul Brown’s brand of football. Paul Brown wasn’t going to lose games because Jim Brown didn’t get the football enough.

Both Brown and Chubb scored eight rushing touchdowns, but Brown added another two touchdowns as a receiver. Chubb has fumbled the ball three times as a rusher this season, and Brown fumbled the ball six times in 1961.

Brown’s 1,408 yards rushing was 101 more yards than his closest competitor, fellow Hall of Famer Jim Taylor. Chubb’s 1,408 yards rushing is 79 more yards than the second-leading rusher so far in 2019, Derrick Henry.

The 1961 Cleveland Browns finished with a record of 8-5-1, as opposed to the 6-8 record of this year’s Browns team after 14 games.

Jim Brown was named to the All-Pro team, as well as the Pro Bowl in 1961. Brown was a Pro Bowl player every year of his nine-year career and only failed to make the All-Pro team one time. Chubb was just named to his first Pro-Bowl team and will have to wait for the season’s end to find out if he made the cut for the All-Pro team this season.

To put things in perspective, Jim Brown was already considered the best running back in the NFL and had already won two MVP awards before his 1961 season. The 1961 season was also the fifth-straight time Brown had led the league in rushing, and at the time he had only been in the league five years. Brown was a physical marvel and a generational talent and is still considered by many to be one of, if not, the greatest football player to ever live.

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Nick Chubb is just a young player proving himself in the league. He’s a throwback player who does his talking with his play on the field. His nickname ‘Old School’ definitely suits him. To this point in his career, he is proving he could possibly be the best running back the Browns have had since Jim Brown. To even be mentioned in the same sentence as Brown is an accomplishment all in itself.