FBG says: Tough matchup. Even with the return of Kareem Hunt, Nick Chubb continued his dominant 2019 season last week. Chubb saw 20 carries and ran for 118 yards against a Bills defense that was focusing on stopping the rushing attack but was unable to. If there is a criticism of Chubb and the Browns rushing attack it in the red zone. The Browns are 29th in goal-to-go percentage scoring a touchdown just 47.4% of the time when it is a goal-to-go situation. Nick Chubb ran the ball six times on the one-yard line last week and failed to find the end zone and has just 3 touchdowns on 21 carries inside the 10-yard line on the year. The problem for the Browns continues to be the offensive line particularly on the right side with Chris Hubbard and Wyatt Teller who both have been struggling mightily and the Browns do not have a blocking tight end as Demetrius Harris and Stephen Carlson both struggled mightily. Going back to Kareem Hunt, he was primarily utilized in the passing game as he had just four carries even though he was on the field for 54% of the plays.
The Steelers run defense has been very good for most of the season allowing just 3.9 yards per carry and have only allowed four rushing touchdowns on the season which is the 10th best in football. This is a unit that has exceptional outside linebackers led by T.J. Watt and a tremendous defensive line led by Cameron Heyward that makes it very difficult to run up the middle. There is an opportunity however if you have an interior of the offensive line that can control the defensive line as the weak spot on this defense is the middle linebackers. Devin Bush is incredibly athletic but has found himself out of position far more than the Steelers would like against the run, and Mark Barron has struggled throughout his career defending the run as he is a converted safety. The Steelers have shown signs of late that teams are starting to have success against them as in back to back weeks, Marlon Mack and Todd Gurley both have topped 70 yards which was something that only one running back all season had done before those two doing it. Even so, this remains a tough task for the Browns this week due to their offensive line issues which may struggle to contain this defensive front of the Steelers.