3 areas the Browns must vastly improve before facing Baltimore
Browns Area of concern No.1: Jumpstarting the run game
This area of concern is not about stats or rushing titles. Getting this running game back on track is about hanging your hat on something. How could a team that was literally the best in the league at running the football seemingly become unable to have any success in the running game overnight?
This offense has lost its way over the course of the last five games. It would be easy to point the finger at the Browns playing their fourth-string center. But even though Hijalte Froholdt is struggling, the running game issues are much bigger than one player right now.
Wyatt Teller hasn’t been the same since returning from the calf injury that sidelined him two games earlier in the season. Jack Conklin is also struggling to be a plus in the run game this year. Then when you add in Froholdt’s play to the equation you handcuff yourself to only running to one side of your line.
Predictability is a death strike to an effective run game. Cleveland’s ability to be multiple in their running game approach is what made them the most efficient run offense in the league. Well, that and Nick Chubb. But when you are consistently running to one side of the line, even a back of Chubb’s prowess becomes easier to keep in check.
Without Teller being able to pull effectively and get to the second level to spring runs, the dynamism and explosiveness of the run game just haven’t been there since the bye week. At this point in the season, your personnel is what it is, and it is up to the coaching staff to scheme around these issues.
Whether that means an uptick of RPO plays or switching up their personnel groupings, the coaches need to vary their approach. Defenses have figured out how to bottle up the Browns’ running game and now it’s on the coaches to come up with a counterattack.
It’s not about rushing titles or the number of touches that Chubb gets, it’s all about the quality of touches and keeping this offense ahead of the sticks. If the Browns are unable to get this running game back on track, then they might as well just go five wide and start chucking it all over the yard.