Cleveland Browns: D’Ernest Johnson highlights historic rushing season

The Cleveland Browns are setting all types of rushing records this season. This will likely go down as one for the record books in the NFL

After the big game that Cleveland Browns back up running back D’Ernest Johnson had on Thursday night, scampering for 146 yards and a score, I was curious just how historic this team’s running attack has been this season compared to all-time records in the NFL and Browns history.

The numbers Cleveland’s running attack is putting up this season are really impressive, better than any in recent memory, and will go down as one of the best in team history. The Browns like to talk about their team being a blue-collar, run-first program, and that certainly has been the case this season.

We are seven games into the campaign and there’s still plenty of football left to play, but it certainly doesn’t seem like the forecast for a lack of a run game will likely happen. Instead, the Browns and that impressive offensive line will keep creating holes the size of the ocean allowing their running backs to keep battering ahead.

So far this season, the team leads the NFL with 1,193 rushing yards. They also lead the league in rushing average at 170 yards per game, yards per carry at 5.3, and rushing for 20 yards plus with nine of them. The Browns haven’t had a season like this with their rushing attack in years.

We’ll look at that in a moment. But for some recent history, Cleveland finished fourth in the NFL last year with a 145 yards per game average. They were ranked 28th as far back as 2011 with only 86 yards per game average.

In the last 10 years, they’ve been ranked mostly in the middle of the pack from 12th to 18th. The last four seasons have been a steady climb to the top from 13th in 2018, 12th in 2019, 4th last year, and now first.

For some historic perspective let’s start with this NFL nugget. The Browns lead the NFL historically as they averaged 210 yards per game back in 1958, Jim Brown’s second year playing for the club. They are also ranked 5th overall with 188 yards per game back in 1963 when of course Brown was still playing for the team.

This season, the current Browns team ranks 10th all-time in the NFL with their 170 yards per game average. That’s right, they have three teams in the top 10 all-time in the NFL. That’s what I call domination.

This current team, obviously, is doing it without Jim Brown. Instead, they have Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and D’Ernest Johnson making strides toward history. Chubb right now sits at 523 yards total with a 5.8 yards per carry average.

Hunt is at 361 yards and a 5.2-yard average and Johnson is at 6.3 yards. That 6.3 average at the moment was what the great Jim Brown finished with back in 1958.

With colder weather in the forecast, Cleveland will continue to count on that run game and if the cards fall the right way this season will end up being one for the history books. So when the Browns settle in to play the Pittsburgh Steelers next weekend prepare to see more history made in the run department.

The Steelers have been giving up a lot in the run game of their opponents. In the last three games, they’ve given up 127 yards per contest and 144 yards last game when they played the Seattle Seahawks.

Whether it’s Chubb, Hunt, or Johnson in the backfield for the Browns, the team will keep pounding the rock down the throats of their opponents. Considering it was almost 60 years since the team has averaged over 170 yards a game, this moment in time should be cherished by all.