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Browns run game poised and focused entering two-game home stand

Cleveland’s rushing attack had a tough time on the road but aren’t worried moving forward


The Browns run game had a lackluster performance during the team's West Coast road trip. As they return to Cleveland for a two-game home stand, the running game will look to get back on track.

On their West Coast trip, the Browns' running backs rushed 39 attempts for 174 yards. The team failed to score any rushing touchdowns during their trip, marking the first time since Week 4.

"We just have to get back to ourselves," RB Pierre Strong Jr. said. "As you can see, we haven't been ourselves running the ball. We haven't been running as well as we can. Being back at home and getting back comfortable with movements, we will get back rolling."

In Week 12 against the Broncos, the Browns entered the day going against a run defense that was the worst in the league. At the time, the Broncos' run defense had given up the most rushing yards this season with 1,600, and teams averaged 5.5 yards per carry.

Despite the Broncos struggling to stop the run, the Browns only ran the ball 24 times and only 16 times with their running backs. RB Jerome Ford averaged 7.2 yards per carry on nine attempts.

In Week 13 against the Rams, the Browns went against an inconsistent Rams defensive front. Entering the game, the Rams had 25 sacks on the season, which was 21st in the league. They were 16th in rushing yards allowed this season with 1,246. They also allowed 11 rushing touchdowns on the season, which ranked 11th in the league.

The Browns' run game failed to get back on track. Ford had one of his worst outings rushing the ball, with nine attempts for 19 yards. RB Kareem Hunt had a better day with 12 attempts for 48 yards, but his longest run was seven yards. Nothing came easy for the group as they couldn't get into a rhythm.

Check out the best photos from the Browns game against the Rams by the Browns photo team

After the game, HC Kevin Stefanski explained that the slow start of the run game was not intentional but rather a strategic decision based on the defense's performance. In total, the Browns had 23 rushing attempts and 44 pass attempts by the end of the game.

"Yeah, we're always just trying to move the ball any which way we can," Stefanski said. "Felt like there were some opportunities in the run game. I think it was tough sledding early, but it opened up there in the second half, and I think we'll just continue to look at ways that we can be explosive as an offense."

The Browns return home for Weeks 14 and 15, where they are much better as a team than on the road. The last time the Browns were home, they beat the Steelers 13-10 in Week 11. Hunt and Ford had 12 attempts each for 67 yards total and a touchdown against one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL.

Before that, in Week 9, they had 37 carries combined between Ford, Hunt and Strong for 91 yards and a touchdown. Being at home has been good for the Browns and the run game.

In Week 14, the Browns will face a Jaguars defense that is ranked 11th in yards per carry with 4.1 and tied for fifth in rushing yards allowed with 1,117.

However, the Jaguars run defense struggled in their Week 13 matchup, when they gave up 156 rushing yards to the Bengals. Cincinnati also scored three rushing touchdowns. Before Monday's game, the Bengals were tied for 30th in the league in rushing touchdowns with only four and were last in the NFL in rushing yards with 990. However, after playing against the Jaguars, they are now ranked 22nd in the league.

The Jaguars will pose a threat to the Browns, but as long as they stay focused, they can find a balance in the run and pass game. TRB Nick Chubb in Week 2 to a knee injury for the season. However, they have overcome criticism in the past and will look to bounce back on Sunday.

"I think we just kind of go back to that same resilient mindset that we had in the past, dealing with injuries and losses and we come together, and we work to get the job done," Ford said.

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