The Cleveland Browns have joined teams like the Tennessee Titans in having a dominant running game lead their offense. While the majority of the NFL has moved toward being strong in throwing the football, the Browns have steadied their offense around a great offensive line and a stable of running backs.
One of the reasons that most NFL teams have leaned toward the passing game is the ability for explosive plays. While running the ball can lead to an explosive play here and there, the space available in throwing the ball creates a greater opportunity. That doesn’t mean a running back can’t be explosive, however.
For Cleveland, RB Nick Chubb has created those opportunities at a much higher rate than any other back in the league over the last two seasons:
If you need a running back to make a big play, these are the running backs for you.👇👇👇 pic.twitter.com/DYYBMVPp3B
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) August 10, 2022
The graph does a great job of showing that no one is even close to Chubb when it comes to creating big plays despite condensed space. Chubb forces a missed tackle on over a quarter of his carries and his yards after contact is greater than most backs’ yards per carry.
If Watson is suspended for a year, the Browns can count on their running game to carry the offense. Whether that will be enough in the explosive AFC could depend on the team’s defense and how QB Jacoby Brissett plays as a starter.
There is little doubt that Chubb will do his part.