The Jets’ road to victory is pretty simple on Sunday in Cleveland: don’t let Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, the Browns’ two-headed monster at running back, beat them.
If the Jets contain Chubb and Hunt, they will return to New Jersey with a 1-1 record.
Allow those two backs to come loose like they did last week, combining 187 rushing yards and a touchdown on 33 carries in a win over the Panthers, and the Jets will go 0-2 for the fifth time in the course. of the past six seasons. with the Super Bowl finalists Bengals next on the schedule.
“If we don’t stop the run, if we don’t play the run well, we’re going to have a tough day on Sunday,” Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said Thursday. “[Chubb] is a guy who likes to exhaust people. I was reading a stat that said the vast majority of his explosive [runs] came in the fourth quarter, which is obviously a byproduct of a guy wearing you down.
“So we have to go the other way. He doesn’t survive this guy. It’s punishing this guy and in the fourth [quarter], it’s going to be on our terms and that’s where we wear you out. We must continue to develop this mentality in defense.
The Jets’ defense got off to a good start in Week 1 against the Ravens, who, like the Browns, are a top team. The Jets limited Baltimore to just 63 rushing yards.
Although somewhat unrealistic, that would be a good number for the Browns to hold on to.
“Arguably the most talented duo in the league,” Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said of Chubb and Hunt. “Nick alone would make it a top five [running back] place in the league. And then you add Kareem, who could start on any other team in the league and was terrific in Kansas City. ”
Defensive lineman Carl Lawson confronted both backs and said, “It’s crazy when you have, in my opinion, two of the top 10 backs in the league in the same backfield.”
Defensive tackle John Franklin-Myers said this game “falls back to the defensive front” and we plan to get violent putting in the edges and doing what we can to stop their run. It starts at the front.”
Franklin-Myers described Chubb, who slashed Carolina’s defense for 141 yards on 22 carries, as “a big runner with great balance and a big, stiff arm.” He is strong. You have to bring your feet up with your tackles and be ready for that stiff arm because it’s coming.
Franklin-Myers on Hunt, who had 46 rushing yards and a touchdown last week: “Hunt is different because he’s a little less orthodox. He is a bit wild and crazy. He runs really hard, but it’s different because he doesn’t have a signature move. He bounces off the guys and keeps running and keeps his feet moving.
Rankins described Chubb as “more of a real one-cut guy who puts his foot in the ground and runs with power.”
Rankins on Hunt: “Kareem has a little more you-don’t-know-what-you-are-going-to-get. He has a little more trouble getting you to miss than you might think. Has great balance, is excellent out of the backfield. He can go all lanes out of the backfield. ”
Linebacker CJ Mosley called the duo “a really hard punch.”
“If we don’t have the advantage over them, it’s going to be a long day,” Mosley said.
“The two present different problems,” Rankins said. “Nick is top five in the league and Kareem is top 10 in this league. There’s nothing these guys can’t do. It’ll be up to us to tighten the racing lanes, to get 11 guys on the ball and do a great job of tackling. These guys do a great job of breaking tackles. They go through arm tackles. The population on the ball is important because these guys convert 5 yard runs into 11 and 12 yard runs.
“They’re able to lean on their running game for everything and not have [quarterback] Jacoby [Brissett] having to throw 30 or 40 times a game. It’s gonna be on us guys up front. Make them win.”
If the Jets get Chubb and Hunt to get their yards and put it on Brissett to win the game, they’ll win the game.