The Cleveland Browns kicked off their 2023 campaign by notching their first season-opening home win since 2004. The 100th Battle of Ohio started off as a dawg fight in the rain and muck in the first half. Then in the second half, it became one-way traffic with the Browns defense behind the wheel.
There were plenty of standout performances in the AFC North slugfest, although some stood above others. Now let’s breakdown which Browns players’ stocks are on the rise and which Browns players’ stocks are heading the opposite way.
Cleveland Browns: Stock up, stock down for week one
Week 1, Stock Up: Nick Chubb
I know, I know. How could someone like Nick Chubb’s stock go any higher? That’s a fair question. But after an entire offseason where all the talk surrounded the evolution of the Browns’ offense and the switch to a pass-first approach, Nick Chubb proved that you still can’t go broke taking a profit.
The rain made it next to impossible for either team to get their aerial attack off the ground. But do you know what did work? That’s right, handing the ball off to No. 24. Chubb carried the ball 18 times for 106 yards and caught all four of his targets for an additional 21 yards.
The bottom line is Nick Chubb is Apple stock. You can be mad at yourself for not getting any shares of it earlier, but now is not too late either, its value is only going one way…all the way up.
Week 1, Stock Down: Jerome Ford
The majority of Browns running back discussion this offseason was centered around who Nick Chubb’s backup was going to be. Many were concerned that a player with as little professional experience as Jerome Ford shouldn't be in that role. Ford’s play on Sunday will do little to quiet that noise.
On Ford’s first carry of the day, he fumbled on a drive where the Browns were pushing into Bengals’ territory. But the coaching staff’s faith in the second year player never wavered, and they kept putting Ford in the game to occasionally spell Chubb. When the Browns had the game in hand, they pulled Chubb and gave Ford all of the grinding the clock carries to end the game.
Ford finished the game with 15 carries for only 36 yards and that crucial fumble. If Ford’s play does not quickly improve Pierre Strong could be in line for those coveted backup carries.