CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns won their eighth game of the season Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars and have their best record since 1994 at 8-3. There have been many reasons the Browns have won, from players stepping up to fill the void due to injury or COVID-19 to impressive drives by quarterback Baker Mayfield and his array of receivers.
The saving grace to the Browns this season, however, has been none other than the super-powered backfield tandem of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
But just how super is the dynamic duo?
Nick Chubb—Cleveland’s Batman
Chubb, who is a fan of Batman and has embodied that silent, powerful role as a running back in Cleveland, is about as close to superhuman as they come on the field.
Now averaging 102.7 rushing yards per game, Chubb is a dominating force—pushing through defenses driving Cleveland down the field.
Rushing for 144 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, Chubb came up clutch when the Browns needed him most—something he’s very much used to.
Chubb is tied for sixth in the NFL in rushing yards with 719 and tied for tenth in rushing touchdowns with six. He’s tied for fifth in the league in carries for 10 or more yards after adding four today, bringing his total to 24. He also leads the league in carries for 20-plus yards with 10 this season after adding two on Sunday.
All while missing four weeks.
In true Batman fashion, Chubb racks up impressive stats while avoiding attention on the field.
“That is just who I am. I’m not really one to celebrate until the game is over and we win. That is when I will celebrate. Until then, it is all about trying to get the next play down and get a win,” Chubb said.
While Chubb may not be one to celebrate, his teammates are more than happy to sing his praises.
"Chubb is a stud," guard Joel Bitonio said. "The guy that I went after, I just tried to get some hands on him, and Chubb made a nice cut, got the first down and sealed the win.”
Chubb isn’t the only running back doing superhuman things on the field for the Browns, however.
Kareem Hunt—Cleveland’s Superman
Hunt has been a very welcome addition to the Browns and has provided the one-two punch to Cleveland’s backfield.
On Sunday, Hunt surpassed 3,000 career rushing yards during a massive 27-yard run. He had 62 total rushing yards on Sunday on 10 carries.
Hunt is ranked ninth in the league with 706 rushing yards this season and fifth in the league with 26 rushes for 10-plus yards.
The Northeast Ohio native brings a bit of verve to the Browns, exploding through defenses to gain more yards than it looks like he should, especially late in the game when it’s arguably needed most.
Hunt is tied for sixth in the league with 362 rushing yards after contact and third in the league for rushing yards after contact in the fourth quarter with 153.
Some of the plays Hunt has been a part of this season make him comparable to Superman—flashy, strong and always ready when called upon.
I mean, last week he even showed us he’s capable of flying.
The truly dynamic duo
The Browns have clearly found their identity in the run game, and there’s no backfield like the one in Cleveland.
Chubb and Hunt together are special, and while they’ve been compared to Batman and Superman here, they get along just fine and truly appreciate what the other brings to the field each week.
“Kareem is an amazing player. Things like that play he made, he makes those plays all of the time. It kind of boosts me up. I saw him jump. I wanted to try to jump, too. We just feed off of each other,” Chubb said on Wednesday on Hunt's flying leap.
When Chubb returned from injured reserve just after the Browns bye week, Hunt had something similar to say of his teammate.
“It is great to have Nick back," Hunt said. "He is a great football player. I missed seeing him out there making big plays. We feed off one another.”
Chubb and Hunt are the only pair of teammates across the league with at least 700 rushing yards. With their abilities, backed by D’Ernest Johnson and Dontrell Hilliard, the Browns have recorded 200-plus rushing yards in four games for the first time since 1978.
But the impact of the duo can be seen in the Browns’ record.
The Browns are 8-0 when Chubb or Hunt scores a touchdown this season. Yes, every time Chubb or Hunt have scored, Cleveland has won.
Now, if that’s not super, I don’t know what is. But if you’re looking for a more athletic comparison, Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt has you covered.
“It is like having two fighters in your corner. You have Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, and they both come out in different rounds and you are facing the fresh guy that can knock you out with the home run punch every time," he said. "That is how it really feels. Both of those guys are elite backs. To have them with the ability to keep them fresh at times and spell them with each other, it is a good problem to have for us.”
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Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.