Has Nick Chubb lost a step this season after worst game of career?

Browns, Nick Chubb. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, Nick Chubb. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports /

Nick Chubb has struggled these last couple of games and that hasn’t helped his Cleveland Browns team gain much momentum as they continue to lose this season

In another sign of the times for the Cleveland Browns, star running back Nick Chubb suffered the worst game of his career as they lost yet again, this time to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

That drops the Browns’ record to 3-7 and likely gives them no chance of contending for much of anything the rest of the season. Chubb’s poor outing was a bit of a surprise in the 31-23 loss. He was bottled up all game long and many of his carries were for losses.

Cleveland’s offensive line should take some of the blame as does the head coach Kevin Stefanski for trying a variety of play calls that required Chubb to try and get to the outside of the defense. The Bills stacked the box for much of the first half and forced the former Georgia Bulldog and the run game to alter the plans.

Chubb’s final stat line had him carrying the ball for only 19 yards on 14 carries, which is only a 1.4 YPC average. That’s a far cry from his 5.7 YPC average this season. The inability of the Browns to establish a run game yet again factored into another lost lead late in the first half. It also forced them to try and get back in the game with the pass. That’s been the narrative now for the team over the past seven games, where they’ve been outrun in six of those games.

A tale of two seasons for Nick Chubb

Take a look at Chubb’s season stats and you’ll quickly discover a player that has taken a step back in his production. Some have contended that overusing him early this season would wear him out and quite frankly maybe that’s what’s happened.

Through the first five games of the year, the Browns No. 1 back was on a record pace amassing 593 yards while carrying the ball on average 19.6 times a game. He also scored seven touchdowns. In contrast, the last five games have been some of the worst production of Chubb’s career. He’s only run for 330 yards on an average of 15.2 carries a game for a 4.3 YPC average well under his 5.7 YPG season average.

Opponents know that Cleveland relies on their run game first and these teams have challenged them to beat them with a stacked line and the Browns are failing this season. Losing can take its toll on players and right now that seems to be the case with Chubb too. He talked about his confidence and how the season so far has been disappointing before the game against Buffalo.

You have to wonder what the long-term effects will be for Chubb. While he’s climbing many NFL rushing ladders and also has the Browns’ own All-Time Rushing title in his sights, the continuous losses by the team has to have a bearing on his production moving forward.

He’s only in his fifth NFL season, but the shelf life of running backs is very short. He still has a couple of years on his current contract and will no doubt give it his all. But he has to be tired of the defeats, as most of the tenured Browns surely are.