Three Statistical Areas Where The Cleveland Browns Could (And Should) Do Better In 2021
We’ve already looked at three statistics in which the Cleveland Browns could Step backwards in 2021, and now we’re looking at three areas where the team can improve over the next season. They’re all pretty important, so an improvement in all three should result in a successful 2021 campaign.
3. Rushing yards per carry
The Browns had one of the strongest rushing attacks in the NFL, finishing third in the league with 2,374 yards. Only the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens gained more ground yards averaging 5.2 and 5.5 yards per carry, respectively. Cleveland finished fifth on the YPC with a 4.8, which is good but not great, especially when Nick Chubb only left JK Dobbins behind with an average of 5.6.
There are several reasons for this discrepancy. Initially, Chubb only had 190 carries due to his knee injury, which resulted in Kareem Hunt carrying the rock more than planned. Hunt is arguably the best backup runner in the league, but for each of the past two seasons he’s averaged just 4.2 yards per carry, up from the Kansas City Chiefs of 4.9 and 4.6. Hunt has excellent contact balance, but his vision is nowhere near as good as Chubb’s, resulting in some big opportunities being missed. He also has a tendency to ricochet runs outward at times, which is not his forte.
The offensive line also suffered injuries throughout the season, and perhaps the most impressive was Wyatt Teller as the running game suffered tremendously without him. The team’s yards per carry dropped 1.6 in the no-plate games, which is unheard of.
Rookie left tackle Jedrick Wills also struggled as a run blocker and should be a lot better in the sophomore as he will have a full offseason of coaching and more comfort in the system. He was an elite run blocker in Alabama and should be back on a par with a pro.
For all of these reasons, and fewer overall carries, Cleveland should be more efficient to play the ball in 2021.