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Browns duo on PFF’s midseason top 25 under 25 list

Defensive end Myles Garrett and running back Nick Chubb earn honors at season’s midway point.

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Las Vegas Raiders v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns are resting up and healing up over their bye week with a 5-3 record that has the team for a playoff run in the second half of the season.

That is thanks in large part of the efforts of defensive end Myles Garrett and running back Nick Chubb, who both earned a spot this week on Pro Football Focus’ list of the Top 25 players under the age of 25 after Week 8.

Garrett is first up at No. 3, with author Sam Monson writing that:

We saw signs of this dominance from Myles Garrett last season, but swinging a helmet at Mason Rudolph’s head prematurely ended his campaign halfway through. 2020 has shown that the light has indeed gone on for Garrett, who is now pairing his all-world athleticism and physical tools with consistent production.

For the second year in a row, his PFF pass-rushing grade is above 90.0, and he has 38 total pressures through the first half of the season — a little down on last year’s pace but still an elite number. Garrett has registered pressure in every single game this season and is one of the toughest assignments in the league for any pass blocker.

Garrett has nine sacks on the season, which ties him with Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams for the league lead. A knee contusion early in last Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders helped end Garrett’s streak of a sack in six consecutive games, but he is still on pace to easily break the team’s sack record of 14, which was set by defensive end Reggie Camp in 1984.

More importantly, Garrett has been a disruptive force each week, as his four strip sacks lead the league and have helped put the Browns in a tie for first with 14 takeaways on the season.

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Chubb comes in at No. 10, according to Monson:

Nick Chubb is arguably the best pure ball carrier in the NFL and was putting up absurd numbers in Kevin Stefanski’s new-look Browns offense — just as he did in the previous scheme — before injury took him out this season.

Chubb is averaging 4.1 yards per carry after contact for his career, and the only thing keeping him from the very top of his list is a relative lack of use or skill set applicable to the passing game, which is king in today’s NFL.

Chubb has been out of the lineup since suffering a knee injury in Week 4 against the Dallas Cowboys. Before his injury, the Browns were averaging 204.5 rushing yards per game, which put them at the top of the league rankings. But without Chubb, the Browns have been averaging just 95.5 rushing yards per game and have dropped to No. 5 in the league’s rankings, according to clevelandbrowns.com.

On the season, Chubb is averaging 5.9 yards per carry and his four rushing touchdowns has him tied for 12th-best in the league.

The good news is that Chubb is expected to return to the field soon, possibly in time for Cleveland’s game on November 15 against the Houston Texans, which is better than any addition the team could have made at last week’s trading deadline.