Chubb receives a lot of press and accolades and rightly so, but Hunt is the wild card bonus for the Browns offense.
Here are three reasons why this is the case.
3. Running Back By Committee Preserves Players
#Browns Alex Van Pelt on the Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt tandem: "It's like having two fighters in your corner, you've got Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield."
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) November 27, 2020
With the right personnel and in the right situation, and both appear to be the case in Cleveland, the running back by committee strategy works to keep both players healthy and fresh throughout the season both physically and mentally.
It only makes sense that giving Chubb rest on reps during the game will keep him from wearing down as the season goes on.
That is even more true in 2021 when the NFL goes from 16 to 17 regular season games.
No one really knows the physical and emotional toll an extra game will add to players who are tired by the end of the season.
2. Hunt Is A Legitimate Receiving Threat
Kareem Hunt absurd TD 🤯
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) December 15, 2020
Lining Hunt up in the backfield does not guarantee that a running play is forthcoming.
He is a full-fledged legitimate receiver.
Hunt caught 38 Baker Mayfield passes in 2020.
Five of those passes were touchdowns.
When he does not end up in the end zone, he is averaging a hefty eight yards per reception.
The ball is in the air, and the chains keep moving when Hunt is in the huddle.
1. Hunt Is A RB1 On Almost Any NFL Team
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) August 8, 2021
In addition to being a legitimate receiver, Hunt is a bona fide RB1 on most NFL rosters.
The Browns are not the only team aware of this; recent history tells us that NFL teams and owners know it also.
When Cam Akers of the Los Angeles Rams tore his Achilles on July 20, the rumor mill started exploding with talk that the Rams wanted to trade for Hunt.
Thankfully for Browns fans, these rumors were shut down, but it does beg the question of how long the Browns will be able to keep Chubb and Hunt together on the same roster.
Chubb just negotiated a contract extension through the end of the 2024 season.
Hunt’s contract expires at the end of the 2022 season.
At this point, it appears these two superstars and friends have two years together to carry the load as the Browns attempt to better their 2020 performance.
The Browns bowed out of the 2020 season just one game of shy of the AFC Championship.
For his part, Hunt loves his role with the Browns and believes both he and Chubb can rush for over 1,000 yards in 2021 after falling 159 yards shy of this feat in 2020.
In late June, Hunt said:
“I believed it was possible last year, too, but some things happened. We’ll learn from it and get better and hopefully continue to put in good work this year.”
“Whatever (head coach Kevin) Stefanski calls, either Nick or I are going to make it work. So if that’s both of us on the field at the same time, that’s both of us on the field at the same time. We’re going to find a way to make it work and get the job done. That’s just how we’ve got to look at it. it doesn’t matter if we’re on the field or not together, we’re going to find a way to get the job done.”