Buy Or Sell: Steelers Will Outrush Mr. Chubb And The Browns

With the Steelers’ 2023 regular season about underway following a disappointing year that came up just short of reaching the playoffs, it’s time to start finding out whether or not the answers to last year’s questions are on the roster, tested all throughout training camp and the preseason.

Both sides of the ball got key additions through both free agency and the draft, with new starters, including potentially rookies, amounting to half a dozen or more. The offensive line, the linebackers, and the secondary were all key targets since last year. But what will they look like?

These sorts of uncertainties are what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).

Topic Statement: The Steelers will outrush RB Nick Chubb and the Cleveland Browns.

Explanation: Have you heard about Mr. Chubb? That’s Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s name for Browns RB Nick Chubb, the best pure runner in the game today. Yet Pittsburgh has found ways to limit him before. Still, even if they do, to outrush Cleveland, they will have to have success on the ground that they didn’t have last week.


Let’s start off with establishing some facts. The Steelers have played Chubb nine times. He has two 100-yard games. We’ll discount his first game before he was a starter, so that’s two out of eight. Of the eight, he was held to 65 yards rushing or fewer half the time.

Whether that was through low yards per carry or preventing the Browns from being able to call many runs, the Steelers have been able to find ways to keep the ball out of his hands, or limiting what he does with it.

And they’ve managed to run against the Browns as well. In fact, they’ve done so in six of their last 10 games against them going 6-4 in that time, the results directly corresponding to the rushing leader winning the game.

The only reason the Steelers weren’t successful running the ball last week is because they were not calling run plays. You can’t run the ball well if you don’t run the ball. They know in this game, however, that that is what they need to do. They also know they can afford to be patient against this Browns offense.


The Browns are one of the top rushing teams in football for a reason. They outrush the vast majority of their opponents. Chubb is the focal point of their offense, even with a $230 million quarterback lurking in the shadows.

And the Steelers don’t have Cameron Heyward, one of their top three defenders. Their new-look inside linebackers were not ready to stop Christian McCaffrey from a physicality perspective last week. They won’t be able to handle Chubb.

Pittsburgh should obviously do better on the ground offensively just by virtue of having more rushing attempts, but this is a stronger defensive front than the Steelers are used to seeing from Cleveland, including the addition of DT Dalvin Tomlinson. Don’t expect many rushing lanes. The advantage clearly belongs to Cleveland here.

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