Browns vs. Panthers weather forecast lends itself to the run game

Browns, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Weather can be a huge factor in the NFL and that could certainly be the case this Sunday when the Browns head to Charlotte to battle the Panthers.

We all know how fickle the weather can be at any given time and that certainly could be the case on Sunday afternoon when the Cleveland Browns head to Bank of America Stadium to take on the Carolina Panthers in an interconference battle.

As of this writing, and this could very well change by the time this is published, the weather forecast for Sunday is rain and thunderstorms. The percentage is at 70 percent, but again, that could change by the time you read this.

Many fans will already be hollering and pounding the table about this, but the Browns could utilize the elite run game heavily if the weather dictates it. Cleveland has five backs at their disposal led by Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. D’Ernest Johnson, rookie Jerome Ford, and Demetric Felton are all on standby, but Felton will likely be used more as a slot receiver.

When Chubb rushes for 100 or more yards, the Browns are 16-6. The Panthers don’t have a strong run defense, so 100 yards for Chubb isn’t out of the question. Could this also be a game where Hunt also rushes for triple digits? Possibly, but he’s more likely to have over 100 all-purpose yards than total rushing yards. If at any time these two need a break, Johnson and Ford can step right in. Could see more opportunities late in the game if Cleveland has a sizable lead.

With that being said, the run game of Carolina can be on display with Christian McCaffrey leading the charge. The Browns don’t have an elite run stopper and struggle to stop the run, so this could also mean a big day for McCaffrey.

The fact that Cleveland can rotate up to five guys at any given time gives them the edge in this matchup. What will be interesting to see is how many two-back sets the Browns run, where they can mix and match, and of the five backs.

While the Browns do have a plethora of options at the running back position and have been steadfast in saying they won’t part with any of them, the option to trade one of them before the November 1 trade deadline is still on the table.

The running back room will be tasked to carry a bulk of the load with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, and they are good enough to lead this team to a Week 1 victory for the first time since 2004.

One last thing on the rain, the last time the Browns opened up the season in the rain was in 2018 when they fought from a 14-point deficit to tie the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Mother Nature is a factor this Sunday, the running backs can move the chains and put the ball in the endzone.

Next. 5 pivotal matchups in the Browns season opener. dark