- Drafted 35th overall in 2018, Chubb opened season amid tempered expectations
- Limited early-season action dramatically diminished Chubb's position on OROY odds
- Carlos Hyde trade set the stage for Chubb to take over Browns backfield
A breakthrough performance by Nick Chubb last weekend in the Cleveland Browns’ 28-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons has vaulted the rookie running back into the top three on the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds.
2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds
Chubb posted a career-high 176 rushing yards and one touchdown run to go along with 33 receiving yards, including a 13-yard scoring reception in last weekend’s win.
He now joins Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey as the NFL’s 10th-ranked rusher with 579 yards on the campaign.
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Chubb’s Odds Tumbled Amid Limited Early-Season Action
Selected 35th-overall by the Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft, Chubb opened the season amid tempered expectations.
A two-time All-SEC rusher during his four-year collegiate career with the Georgia Bulldogs, Chubb saw limited action during the first six weeks of the season, carrying the ball on just 16 total occasions.
The 22-year-old’s reduced role dramatically impacted his position on the Offensive Rookie of the Year odds, tumbling to a distant +7100 following a meager six-yard performance in Cleveland’s historic 21-17 win over the New York Jets in Week 3.
Hyde Trade Set the Stage for Chubb’s Breakthrough
But with the Browns pulling the trigger on a deal that sent veteran running back Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars just prior to the team’s Week 7 date with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the stage was set for Chubb, and he has delivered.
Nick Chubb for 92 YARDS ?
?: FOX #ATLvsCLEpic.twitter.com/hSRZL6IGn1
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) November 11, 2018
Chubb has run for an average of over 100 yards in his past four appearances, reaching the end zone on four occasions, including a spectacular franchise-record 92-yard scoring run in front of a friendly Atlanta crowd last weekend.
Barkley, Mayfield Continue to Top the Odds
While a late start to the season has certainly made him a longshot to claim Rookie of the Year honors, there may still be time for Chubb to make his case.
The budding superstar now trails rival rookie rusher Saquon Barkley by just seven rushing yards on the season. Barkley has also scored just one more touchdown than Chubb, but continues to lead the way in NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year betting as a heavy -145 favorite.
The budding superstar now trails rival rookie rusher Saquon Barkley by just seven rushing yards on the season
Chubb’s other chief rival in the battle to be named Rookie of the Year is the man getting him the ball, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner and top pick in this year’s NFL Draft has also made dramatic gains on the OROY odds, where he trails Barkley at +130.
Can Chubb Close the Gap?
So what does Chubb have to do to further make his case as this year’s top rookie?
While he has quickly closed the gap on Barkley in rushing yards and TDs, Chubb has yet to demonstrate Barkley’s downfield prowess. The second overall selection in this year’s draft, Barkley has racked up an impressive 530 receiving yards and two TD catches, adding a dynamic to his game that has clearly set him apart from his rivals.
Barkley vs Chubb Rookie Season Stats
Barkley has also piled up big offensive numbers while suiting up for an otherwise feeble New York Giants squad that ranks 26th in the NFL with just 19.7 points per game and 344.8 total yards per game.
— Michael Holeman (@Michael_Holeman) November 15, 2018
High-Profile Mayfield Likely to Benefit Most from Browns Turnaround
With his success so intrinsically linked to that of teammate Mayfield, Chubb will likely struggle in his bid to gain ground of this year’s top rookie passer.
Mayfield has shown steady progress since taking over the reigns of the Browns offense midway through their Week 3 win over New York on Thursday Night Football, and has boosted his own stock by racking up nine TD passes against just one interception over his past four outings.
Baker Mayfield showcases swagger on the field and at the podium
? » https://t.co/Xewks2lLiA pic.twitter.com/kAR1gaFGSH
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 12, 2018
Mayfield will also enjoy the benefit if the Browns can build on last weekend’s win in Atlanta over their final six games, which includes four dates against opponents currently in the playoff picture.
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