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Watch: Nick Chubb will not be denied on Thursday night

Touchdown Wire logo Touchdown Wire 9/18/2020 Mark Schofield
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The Battle of Ohio has kicked off in Cleveland, as the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns square off on Thursday Night Football. The Bengals opened the scoring with a 38-yard field goal from kicker Randy Bullock, he of the injured calf from last week, but the Browns answered with a touchdown. Nick Chubb showed that the would not be denied on his 11-yard scoring run:

This touchdown run on a power design has three factors at work. First is Chubb himself, who bullies his way into the end zone despite getting stood up around the five-yard line. But do not ignore the work from left guard Joel Bitonio and fullback Andy Janovich. Bitonio pulls in front of Chubb, and the guard coupled with the lead block from the fullback help pave the way for the ball-carrier.

Many thought that Kevin Stefanski’s offensive concepts and philosophy would be a huge boost for quarterback Baker Mayfield, with lots of play-action designs and rollout concepts using two tight ends on the play. But an underrated aspect of what Stefanski did last season with the Minnesota Vikings was the use of a fullback. Last year the Vikings used 21 offensive personnel (two running backs) on 230 offensive plays, accounting for 21% of their snaps. Only the San Francisco 49ers used that package more.

Which meant that when Cleveland acquired Janovich in a trade with the Denver Broncos, sending a seventh-round pick in the deal, it was to fill a need.

A need that helped pave the way for Cleveland’s first points in the Battle of Ohio.

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