Making something out of nothing was a fantastic skill that helped propel Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb from good to great. Whether it was turning a two-yard loss into a one-yard gain or busting a short gain into an explosive one, Chubb made things happen.
The Browns offensive line, overall, has also been one of the best in the league over the last few seasons. Far from perfect, tough to be that in 2023 in the NFL, Joel Bitonio, Wyatt Teller and Jack Conklin were the foundation of that line.
With Conklin out, Dawand Jones has been a very good pass protector, as has Cleveland’s line as a whole.
As pointed out by SB Nation’s social media producer, the difference between the Browns pass and run blocking is substantial. In pass protection, when aggregating data from three sources, Cleveland is a top-10 unit:
Pass protection composite ratings from three sources— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) September 27, 2023
These are starting to look much less wild than prior weeks
The Dolphins!! pic.twitter.com/4lfYGIZSU5
Using those same three grading sites, the Browns offensive line is in the bottom third of the league in run blocking:
Composite of run block ratings. These ones are all over the place lol (look at TB and CHI).— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) September 27, 2023
But the Eagles might be good at run blocking
(just noticed that the SIS numbers don't include MNF yet) pic.twitter.com/pWG68YlBki
For HC Kevin Stefanski, the combination of Chubb being out and the line’s struggles to set up runs well for Jerome Ford is concerning. Add on top of that QB Deshaun Watson’s preference for spread-out formations and the team’s talented group of pass catchers and we may see more and more passing in 2023.
With only a three-week sample size, Cleveland’s line could improve in these ratings relatively quickly. If they don’t, Stefanski will have no choice but to lean on the offense’s passing game to keep the ball moving.
Do you think the Browns should keep prioritizing the run even tho Chubb is out and the offensive line is struggling in that area?