TOP 4 RUSHING MATCHUPS WEEK 19
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Cleveland at Kansas City
The Browns rushing attack continues to be one of the elite units in football. This is a team that is built to run the ball through and through as evidenced by being third in the NFL in rushing yards on the season. The Browns faced what had been a strong run-stopping unit last week in Pittsburgh, and ran for4.8 yards-per-carry in a game script that led to Pittsburgh knowing the Browns were going to run and could not stop it which led to T.J. Watt being highly ineffective even with a patchwork offensive line as Jack Conklin and Joel Bitonio were both out. The big question for the Browns headed into this week is the health of the offensive line. While they should get Bitonio back this week from the Covid list, Jack Conklin did not practice, and All-Pro Wyatt Teller and center J.C. Tretter both were limited on Wednesday. If multiple players miss this game, especially Tretter and Teller it could limit the Browns on the inside rushing attack this week.
The Chiefs rushing defense is one that has been a weak spot for the team for most of the season. Allowing 4.6 yards-per-carry and over 100 yards per game, Cleveland’s game plan will be simple, which is to keep the ball on the ground and away from Patrick Mahomes II. While the Chiefs have struggled for most of the year, the one thing that they have done well is preventing massive games for running backs, as only two running backs on the year have topped 100 yards (Melvin Gordon III and Damien Harris). This is a defense that is set up to stop the pass due to their ability to lead the game from the start, so they have designed the defense around pass rushing with Frank Clark and Chris Jones on the defensive line instead of big defensive ends and tackles to eat up space to prevent holes.