The Cleveland Browns have a renewed hope of reaching the NFL playoffs this coming season, and it is mainly because the team has a more potent offense than it did in 2021.
Deshaun Watson will replace the inconsistent and disappointing Baker Mayfield at quarterback, while Amari Cooper, a four-time Pro Bowler, will line up at wide receiver.
But the team’s biggest strength may be in the backfield.
Nick Chubb is one of the league’s most underrated running backs, and one of his backups there is Kareem Hunt, who can be explosive at times.
Hunt will be a free agent after the 2022 season, and keeping him will be a key to building a championship-caliber team in The Land.
Hunt Gives The Browns Options
Even though he was just the 86th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Hunt instantly blossomed into a star for the Kansas City Chiefs.
He led the league as a rookie with 1,327 rushing yards while scoring eight touchdowns and averaging 4.9 yards per carry, production that earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl.
He turned heads with his ability to explode through the pile and gain yardage up the middle while evading tackles.
Kareem Hunt's best run as a Chief. Insane pic.twitter.com/NxdAcqV57i
— EDDIE HIGH (@EddieHigh) December 28, 2021
But his tenure with the Chiefs ended after just two seasons when a video of him assaulting a woman surfaced.
Hunt’s three seasons with the Browns have been marred by injuries and a suspension during the 2019 campaign.
His first season in Cleveland was quiet, but in 2020, he got five starts and ended the season with 841 yards and six touchdowns while showing some glimpses of who he was in his first season with Kansas City.
In the playoffs against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Hunt had 48 rushing yards and two touchdowns as the Browns won their first postseason game since the mid-1990s.
Last year, he appeared in just eight contests due to a calf injury, but he still put up 386 yards and a touchdown despite starting only one of those games.
Hunt joining the Browns has been something of a homecoming for him, as he was born and raised in Willoughby, Ohio, which is a suburb of Cleveland.
Born and raised Cleveland baby the land till I die.”#Browns RB Kareem Hunt loves playing for his hometown team.
— Tyler Johnson (@T_johnson_TJ) September 28, 2021
Now, with some more reinforcements in uniform, he will have the opportunity to go to the playoffs again this coming season.
If Hunt and Chubb remain together as a tailback tandem beyond this coming season, they will give the Browns something pretty formidable to build on, as they provide head coach Kevin Stefanski with two different types of weapons out of the backfield.
Chubb is a powerful back who hits the gaps and uses his strength to eke out a little extra yardage even when a defender is in the process of taking him down.
Hunt, on the other hand, likes to explode and has greater quickness and athleticism.
He almost serves as a change of pace running back while also allowing the Browns to rest Chubb a bit and keep him healthy.
Many Browns fans would love to see Chubb top 2,000 yards this season, but preventing him from being overworked is more important when one considers the timeline the team is on, and Hunt, who is just a few months older than him, can help get that accomplished over the next few years.
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