FBG says: Great matchup. The Browns rushing offense was all but shut down last week against the Steelers as they suffered a critical loss which essentially derails their playoff aspirations. Chubb struggled with just one carry longer than 10 yards last week which was a 12-year gain. The problem for the Browns has been consistency over the second half of the season as Chubb has 3.6 yards-per-carry or less in three of his last five contests after being below 4.0 yards-per-carry just once in his first seven games to start the year. The problem has been that teams are selling out to stop the run and the passing game is just not gaining enough traction to keep the defenses honest. Kareem Hunt has been a nice addition to this offense as he is showing what fresh legs can do this time of year as he is averaging 5.0 yards-per-carry over his first four games.
The Bengals run defense for the better part of two years has been one of the worst defenses in the league. On the year, the Bengals are allowing the most rushing yards per game at 157.6 and are allowing the fourth-most yards per attempt at 4.8. The issue for the Bengals is that while Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap are stars on the defensive line, their linebackers and safeties are some of the weakest in the NFL. Rookie Germaine Pratt and Nick Vigil have both struggled mightily at the linebacker position and Shawn Williams and Jessie Bates at safeties have provided no run support for most of the season. This is a team that has allowed nine players to rush for 75 yards or more on the year and what would have been much more if teams had not pulled their players due to game scripts. This should be a big day for Nick Chubb and the Browns offense.