Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb was terrific in 2019 and is looking for more
Last season, the most reliable offensive weapon for the Cleveland Browns was Nick Chubb, who firmly established himself as one of the NFL’s best running backs in 2019. While often, though it was not all on him, quarterback Baker Mayfield and Cleveland’s passing attack weren’t on the same page, Chubb was outstanding.
In his second season and first season going into the year as the RB 1 from the jump, Chubb had 1,494 yards, averaged 93.4 yards per game and had eight touchdowns.
Chubb was second in the league in yards after contact with 882 as well, and tied for the league lead with the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Jones in broken tackles forced on rushes with 32, per Pro Football Reference.
While again Cleveland’s passing attack had their share of issues, albeit offensive line struggles especially at the starting tackle spots didn’t help Mayfield, and nagging injuries for Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry likely affected their play, Chubb played at an elite level. That was even with rush blocking issues in that sense, too, to go with then-head coach Freddie Kitchens, who often seemed clueless in regards to management of games.
Fortunately for Chubb, newish Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, who would seemingly have input in play-calling regardless if offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt does formally, should be poised for another big year. Plus, Cleveland feasibly having upgrades at the starting tackle spots in Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr., who should be capable of moving to the left side given his talent level/technically sound style, should help Chubb.
Anyway, while last season was a breakout one it appeared for Chubb, he’s looking to take it a step further for the Browns.
Chubb is gunning for the NFL rushing title in 2020, and he’s definitely capable of doing that for the Cleveland Browns.
In media availability on Tuesday, the Browns’ star running back hit on how not getting the 2019 rushing title is added fuel for him, and Chubb then stressed how he’s gunning for that in 2020. Here was Chubb’s comments regarding that, per Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot.
"“It’s more motivation,” he said on a Zoom call Tuesday. “I’ll try and do it this year. I’m just working out, running hard. Everything happens for a reason. That’s my mindset.”"
For added context, Cabot noted how the Tennessee Titans’ Derrick Henry beat out Chubb for the rushing title by having 211 yards in his last regular season game of 2019, whereas Chubb had only 41, and seemingly hit on that before those Chubb comments above in her piece. Chubb did say when asked in that media Zoom call initially how he wasn’t “bothered” by missing out on the rushing title, but that it again is “more motivation” for this season/how he’s worked in the offseason.
As one can see in this Chubb interview (via Cabot’s piece), Chubb is the consummate team guy, though, and while he is gunning for the 2020 rushing title and definitely can do it, he’s all about winning.
Anyhow, while the end goal is always, and should be, winning, for Chubb, he is seemingly gunning for the rushing title in 2020.
He again is more than capable of doing so, too, and in a Stefanski system that is particularly running back-friendly (although tight end-friendly as well), Chubb should thrive. DPD’s Justice Sunderland believes Chubb will be even better than he was last season, too, at least from an efficiency/down-to-down perspective, realistically.
Sunderland did emphasize how Hunt active for a full season, if healthy, could play into Chubb carries, but that there still will be plenty “to go around,” and that Beckham, Landry and new arrival Austin Hooper should only aid Chubb’s effectiveness as a runner.
Let’s hope Beckham and Landry can be mostly healthy, and hopefully not have to deal with injuries this coming season a ton, and we’ll have to see in regards to Landry, but he could very well suit up Week 1 due to his toughness in relation to his hip surgery.
Anyway, while it would appear that Hunt could affect Chubb’s rushing workload some and ideally, Mayfield can be more consistent in 2020, with seemingly a much more competent offensive line and play-calling throughout games, that with Chubb’s well-rounded running ability, he could definitely win the rushing title in 2020. Let’s hope that’d of course lead to a winning formula and still lead to balance/efficient play from Mayfield; nobody wants a 6-10 season upcoming with the Browns’ weaponry.
Granted, given the novel coronavirus pandemic, one can’t say with certainty if the NFL season will play out at this point, with it not being realistic for the league to have a bubble-type way to conduct games, like the NBA is doing.
But considering unlike the collegiate ranks, that these are pros and the TV revenue for the NFL is still more than enough, both of which DPD’s Greg Newland alluded to, there could seemingly be a good chance of an NFL season playing out. That’s more so with players appearing, mostly, of wanting to play, as Newland pointed out.
If the season does play out, we could very well see a Chubb 2020 NFL rushing title, too.