The Cleveland Browns will not be playing playoff football this season, which is a painful reality for stoic Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb.
Chubb has been the steadying force for Cleveland since arriving in 2018 as a second-round pick. He was recently named to his fourth Pro Bowl and continues to be a reliable force in the backfield for the Browns. Through 15 games he’s rushed for 1,344 yards with a 4.9 yards per carry average, adding 12 touchdowns.
However, the Browns sit at 6-9 and are on the outside looking in — again — on the postseason.
“It is disappointing for sure. We had our chances. We had our chances, but we didn’t make the most of it and here we are. We are who we are,” Chubb said on Wednesday. “We have two more times to go out there and play, and play for each other and play for the city. That is bright thing about it. It is not over yet.”
The Browns certainly had their chances, especially early in the year. Four of their first five losses came by a combined nine points, the outlier being a 38-15 blowout loss to the New England Patriots on October 16. That included an inexplicable loss to the Jets, where New York scored a pair of touchdowns in the final two minutes with backup Joe Flacco at QB.
The Browns were officially eliminated from playoff contention last week with a loss to the Saints in frigid conditions.
What’s tough for the Browns is that they have the pieces in place to be a contender, which includes Chubb. He signed an extension with Cleveland last season and is tied to the franchise through the 2024 season.
“We do have a great team. Just have to put it all together,” Chubb said. “For now, it does hurt not going to the playoffs.”
Chubb Admits Cold Was Factor Against Saints
Last week’s matchup against the Saints was the coldest regular season home game in Browns history, with a kickoff temperature of 6 degrees and wind chill temperature of minus-16 degrees.
Chubb still went with his traditional sleeveless look and managed to pile up a game-high 92 yards. He admitted it was cold but still had a good time in the adverse conditions.
“That is the coldest I have ever felt ever. It was great,” Chubb said. “I thought we still ran the ball pretty well. I thought we could have done little things better here and there, but overall, I think it was OK for us.”
With the Browns falling behind in the second half, they relied on the passing game a bit more than they probably would have liked in the conditions. However, Chubb thought quarterback Deshaun Watson looked solid.
“I thought he looked great,” Chubb said of Watson. “I don’t think it affected him at all. He was putting the ball where he needed to put it. I don’t the weather had any impact on him at all.”
Browns Still Eager for Matchup With Commanders
The postseason might be out of reach but the Browns but still have two games to play, with the Commanders coming up on Sunday.
“Just going to show how bad do we want to win, no matter even though we are out of the playoffs and everything, and how much we just love the game of football,” Browns tight end David Njoku said. “Playing for your pride, playing for your brothers and giving it all you have for them, even though we are not going to advance.”
Premier among the priorities for the final two weeks of the season is getting Watson fully integrated into the offense. While the stat lines can be deceiving due to factors like weather, he’s looked more comfortable and efficient each week.
“I really have seen him take steps in each one of these games,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said. “Even in the last game, I think with those conditions I saw him take steps forward.”
The Browns are a 2.5-point underdog against Washington.