The Cleveland Browns have not had a lot to celebrate so far in the 2022 NFL season. The defense has been beyond poor and the special teams is not too far behind it. The offense has been up and down but, given expectations, far more successful than anyone would have thought.
A lot of the reason for that success, outside of a career year from QB Jacoby Brissett, is the play of RB Nick Chubb and the team’s offensive line. Despite just 11 carries for 63 yards in Week 10, Chubb is still third in the NFL in rushing yards with 904 with an outstanding 5.7 yards per carry average.
He also leads the league with 11 touchdown runs.
The most amazing part is that Chubb is doing that while facing eight defenders in the box on 33.75% of his snaps. It was much worse last week against the Miami Dolphins, where Chubb faced a loaded front on 54.55% of his attempts.
While fans want more carries for the team’s prized running back, the lack of fear of Brissett and the passing offense is making it very difficult in the run game.
Expect Cleveland’s offense to continue to see more 8-man boxes and “bear fronts” the next two weeks before QB Deshaun Watson returns. While Watson may be a bit rusty, the threat of the passing game rises greatly with him in the game as does his ability to make big plays with his feet.
So far this season for running backs with 100 or more carries, only RB Derrick Henry is seeing more eight-man fronts (38.61%). Henry, like Chubb, doesn’t have a quarterback that strikes fear into defenses. Others high on the list (Kenyan Drake, Caleb Huntley, Tyler Allgeier, Brian Robinson and D’Onta Foreman) also don’t have quality signal callers or, in Drake’s case, have a heavy run-centric offense with Lamar Jackson.
The raw statistical data (carries, yards, ypc, TDs) all are impressive for Chubb but seeing the data on how often defenses are loading up to stop him makes them all the more amazing.
Are you surprised by how often Chubb is seeing 8-man fronts and still able to be successful?