The last time the Cleveland Browns were good, running the football and great defense was the recipe for success. As it has come to pass in the NBA, MLB and other major sports, the NFL has moved to a more offense-centric league. At the root of the push for more offense has been the belief that fans are more interested in scoring, in all sports.
The side benefit for the NFL is that many of their rules also could increase player safety by minimizing what defenders can do.
For Browns fans, pivoting to a more passing oriented offense can be tough given the team’s history and the presence of RB Nick Chubb. Chubb has deserved all the love he has gotten over the years including from our coverage over just the last month:
- Chubb is the “most elusive” running back in the NFL
- Cleveland’s running back is unique in his ability to force missed tackles and make something out of nothing
- Appreciating Nick Chubb, who PFF has as the NFL’s best back
Despite all of Chubb’s greatness, the Browns were not even close to good enough on offense. While Chubb can break off long runs at times, simply “more running the ball” won’t create the opportunities for big plays that the passing game can.
Based on last year, GM Andrew Berry was right in adding speed at the receiver position:
offensive plays that gained 30+ yards last yr:— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) June 11, 2023
33 - SF
32 - KC
30 - PHI
29 - SEA, DEN
28 - LV, CAR
27 - CHI
26 - BUF, DET, MIN, NE
25 - MIA, NO, NYJ
24 - TEN
23 - HOU, CIN
21 - BAL, JAX, GB, CLE
20 - DAL, LAC
19 - WAS
18 - IND
17 - PIT, ATL
15 - NYG
14 - TB
12 - LAR,…
If HC Kevin Stefanski and QB Deshaun Watson can recreate the offense in a way that still allows Chubb to be a vital part while opening opportunities for big plays, a playoff spot should be within reach. Big plays can be frustrating as they are mostly all or nothing plays, with a few catch and run plays sprinkled in.
In the end, Cleveland fans just want their team to win. If that means handing the ball off 30 times a game, great. If that means throwing the ball 40 times a game, also great. Given how the NFL has continued to change and enforce rules that encourages more passing, the Browns will probably follow the trend of the league and air it out attempting to jump out that explosive play list in 2023.
Do you care how the Browns win as long as they win or do you believe running the ball is the only way to win for Cleveland? Join us in our comment section below