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Nick Chubb has been a dominant force in the NFL since his debut and, at 28 years old, shows no sign of slowing down. His continued success can be attributed to his exceptional talent as one of the most impressive rushers the league has ever seen. As he enters his sixth season, there's excitement brewing for a potential career-best year and an even more elevated level of play from Chubb. The departures of both Kareem Hunt and D'Ernest Johnson from the team have opened the door for Chubb to assume the largest workload of his career. Meanwhile, Deshaun Watson should look more like the All-Pro we saw in Houston than the Baker Mayfield clone we saw last year after his tumultuous absence. Stronger play from Watson benefits everyone in the offense and should ensure Chubb has more favorable game scripts and more opportunities to score in the red zone.
This table illustrates how impressive Chubb has been over the past three seasons compared to his running back peers:
|Statistic||2022 Ranking (Data)||2021 Ranking (Data)||2020 Ranking (Data)|
|Elusive Rating||4th (97.2)||2nd (107.7)||1st (126.6)|
|Explosive Runs (10+ yard runs)||1st (47)||2nd (41)||3rd (39)|
|Explosive Run Rate||7th (15.6%)||1st (18.0%)||2nd (17.6%)|
|Yards After Contact per Attempt||8th (3.48)||2nd (4.24)||1st (4.00)|
|Yards per Route Run||30th (0.94)||38th (0.94)||24th (1.17)|
|Rush Yards Over Expected per Attempt||2nd (1.29)||4th (1.19)||1st (1.75)|
Chubb has consistently ranked in the top four overall in Elusive Rating according to ProFootballFocus each year. He's also secured a top-three ranking each season in 10+ yard runs. Additionally, he has consistently placed in the top eight in yards after contact per attempt and in the top four in rush yards over expected per attempt, according to NextGenStats. What does this all mean? Chubb consistently excels at evading tackles, making big plays, and achieving more yards per carry than expected.
Improved Offensive Environment
Jacoby Brissett was a revelation last season, propelling the Browns offense to ninth in Expected Points Added per Play and 12th in Success Rate while under center from weeks 1-12. Conversely, Baker Mayfield was benched in Carolina after just five weeks. These developments lend credibility to the theory that Kevin Stefanski, a capable head coach and offensive mind, had his offenses hindered by Mayfield for years. When Deshaun Watson joined late last season, he struggled significantly, but his challenges were likely expected after nearly two years without playing. Looking back to 2020, Watson's last full-time season, he led the Texans offense to 11th in Expected Points Added per Play and 8th in Success Rate. If Watson can approximate his past performance, Chubb may find himself in the most successful offense of his NFL career this upcoming season.
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