Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably already know how important Nick Chubb is to the Cleveland Browns. The sixth-year veteran has had a restful training camp, not having played in any preseason games. Now he will be ready to go against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday in a Week 1 matchup.
We know that Chubb will bring a consistent effort come game time as he begins his pursuit toward another plus 1,000-yard season. He's had four straight seasons of 1,000 yards or more. He scored 12 touchdowns on the ground a year ago as well. I look for Chubb to hit the ground running in this game and remind everyone why, why he's the best running back in the NFL right now.
When it comes to playing the Bengals, Chubb is probably licking his chops. He's led the Browns to a 7-2 record against Cincinnati. He's carried the ball 157 times for 797 yards and scored seven touchdowns. He holds an 88.6 yards per game average against them too, which is highest amongst any of the AFC North Division opponents.
Chubb has also been used in the passing game more against the Bengals than we typically see. He's caught 15 passes for 119 yards and scored one touchdown. I can see the Browns trying to involve Chubb early in this matchup on Sunday with a few of those flare and screen passes and then give him more run carries later in the game.
Some of Chubb's best games of his career have come against Cincinnati. In his first game against them in 2018, he carried the ball a career-high 28 times in a 35-20 victory in late November. He followed that game up with 112 yards gained performance against them in December in another Browns win.
At the start of the 2020 season, in a Week 2 Thursday Night Football Game, Chubb continued his dominance over the Bengals. He carried the ball 22 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns in a big win. He continued his run of great games against Cincinnati when he stormed off for an amazing 10 yards a carry effort in a 2021 season blowout win over their divisional foe in enemy territory.
The sum of all fears for the Bengals is Nick Chubb. There hasn't been a lot reported on Chubb's dominance over a Cincinnati team as we prepare for this big Week 1 game. While the quarterbacks may take the headlines going into this game, the Browns have a big advantage with Chubb in their backfield.
Besides this first game, Chubb likely has his eyes toward a record season. Chubb will likely look to surpass both past great Browns running backs Mike Pruitt and Leroy Kelly and stand only behind Jim Brown when the 2023-24 season comes to a close. Chubb needs 934 yards to claim the No. 2 spot in franchise history.
If Chubb can have a typical Cincy game where he runs wild, I expect the Browns to come out of the big Week 1 matchup with a win.