The Eagles have to pick up some wins over these last seven games if they do not want the NFC East to slip away from their grasp. This week they will go on the road to take on the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have had their share of struggles so far this season, however, they have not struggled as heavily as the Eagles have. The Eagles are atop the NFC East at 3-5-1 while the Browns are tied with the Baltimore Ravens for 2nd place in the AFC North behind the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. Even though the Browns are 6-3, they have a statistic in common with the Eagles in that they both have more points against than points scored.
Cleveland is looking to stay in the hunt for the AFC North, and the way to do that this week is on the ground. For the Eagles to win this game, they need to contain Nick Chubb.
Chubb came back from injury last week and showed that he didn't need time to warm back up to game speed. Against the Houston Texans in Week 10, Chubb had 19 rush attempts for 126 yards and a touchdown (and could have had a sound touchdown but wisely decided to go out of bounds to force a kneel down to end the game). Through five games this season, Chubb has 76 rushing attempts for 461 yards and five touchdowns. He has an average of 6.1 yards per carry and 92 rushing yards per game, one of the highest averages in the league. Chubb is not much of a threat in the receiving game, as the receiving role in the backfield mostly belongs to Kareem Hunt. With that being said, Chubb is not fully absent in the receiving game, as he may slip out of the backfield a few times throughout the game and pick up a reception or two. No matter the case, the Eagles defense needs to make Chubb their priority whenever he is on the field.
The Eagles defense will have a better chance in this game to defend against Baker Mayfield's passing game than trying to contain the run game. Their run defense is near the bottom of the league, giving up 4.4 yards per carry and 133 rushing yards per game, which is 26th in the NFL. The Browns are certainly looking at these numbers and are probably preparing to feed their backfield all game long. Last week against the Texans, the Browns handed the ball to Chubb and Hunt 19 times each. Granted the weather was a factor as they played in the pouring rain, but that is the kind of workload we can expect to see for Chubb moving forward.
The Eagles will see Chubb lead the way for the Browns offense and if they want to stay in this game, they can not give up their usual 4.4 yards a carry, or else Chubb will have a field day putting up points while running out the clock. Stack the box and make Mayfield beat you through the air, that is the only way the Eagles offense will have a chance to keep them in this game.