It is still a wonder how the Cleveland Browns were able to win 11 games and make the playoffs in the 2023 NFL season. The number of injuries would have torpedoed most teams. In fact, most teams dealing with one or two big injuries fell apart this season.
Not the Browns which could have packed it in after the second week of the season. In Week 1, OT Jack Conklin was lost for the season. Then, against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, RB Nick Chubb was knocked out for the year.
While there are still some concerns about Chubb’s return, his ability at running back has been unique. In a league that prioritizes the passing game because of its ability to be explosive, Chubb is able to pull that off in the rushing attack.
Despite missing all but one full game in 2023, Chubb still has the most explosive runs in the NFL over the past three seasons:
Most rushes of 20+ yards over the last 3 seasons:— PFF Fantasy & Betting (@PFF_Fantasy) February 3, 2024
Nick Chubb - 26
HE ONLY PLAYED TWO GAMES THIS SEASON pic.twitter.com/OMOwzUqx3G
Last year, James Conner and Jahmyr Gibbs were the only two backs with double-digit runs for 20 or more yards.
Even going beyond the three-year mark, Chubb was second in 20+ yard runs in 2020 with 12, tied for first in 2019 with 11 and tied for second in 2018 with 11 as a rookie despite having less than 200 carries.
Chubb has been the exception to the rule in the NFL. He is proof that rare backs can be explosive and impactful in the era of throwing the football.
How surprised are you that Chubb leads the league over the last three years despite missing almost all of this season?