Cleveland Browns vs. Tampa Bay Bucs: 3 big storylines in Week 13

Cleveland Browns, Jacoby Brissett
Cleveland Browns, Jacoby Brissett /
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Cleveland Browns
Browns, Nick Chubb. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: Will the Cleveland Browns run game finally get it in gear?

It’s really surprising when you look back at the last seven games that the Browns’ run game has lost the head-to-head battle in six of those contests. There’s a lot that goes into that, not only who’s in the backfield, but also how the offensive line is doing and if they are blocking well and creating lanes for the running backs. They have two of the best in that backfield with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, so the blame then shifts more to that offensive line.

Teams across the NFL that have been playing the Browns have been challenging them by stacking the box and putting eight or nine men there. Because of that, they’ve struggled and aren’t winning the battle upfront.

Why is that? And why now does it seem to be more of an issue than in the past with this unit?

Some of that likely has to do with effort and the fact that this team is struggling to win. This offensive line needs to do a better job of winning the battle in the trenches. They have been hit by the injury bug again including the recent loss of Ethan Pocic at center. That can’t be overlooked either, but the line needs to be more committed to shifting the narrative this week. If they can create those gaps, then Chubb and Hunt can do the rest.

Chubb and Hunt are two of the best running backs in the NFL, Currently, Chubb is No. 4 in the NFL in terms of total yards gained. He had one of his worst games of the year a week ago when he was bottled up for only 19 yards on 14 carries.

It should be expected this Sunday that we see Chubb, at home and in rainy conditions get back to his old self. Hunt had a decent game a week ago and will likely want to go out this season with a bang as he is a likely free agent at the end of the season. If these two stars can get it back together then Cleveland will be in good shape.