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Isaiah Crowell, Browns run game rolling through 3 games

Browns running back Isaiah Crowell said earlier this month he had a personal goal of rushing for 1,000 yards. When head coach Hue Jackson heard that, he smiled and laughed.

"Only 1,000?" Jackson said. "Why not more?"

So far, it seems like Crowell and Cleveland's run game has taken that challenge to heart.

Through three games, the Browns:

— Rank fourth in rushing offense (434 yards) and average yards per game (144.7).

— Crowell is tied with the rookie Ezekiel Elliott as the league's second leading rusher with 274 yards and only trails Atlanta's Devonta Freeman in yards per carry (6.1) and New England's LeGarrette Blount in yards per game (91.3).

— Crowell's counterpart, Duke Johnson Jr., averages 6.4 yards a carry and continues to be a threat in the pass game.

— Crowell's 85-yard touchdown against the Ravens in Week 2 remains the longest run of the season.

And as the team's offense continues to take shape, Crowell and Co. are poised to keep building on the success they've had through the first three games of the season.

"Really I just feel like it's been our receivers blocking downfield, it's been our lineman really just creating the holes and us just making the right reads and right ball placements," Crowell said, adding fullback Malcolm Johnson has also played a key role in opening up running lanes.

The Browns, who said they wanted to be a run-oriented offense, will have a chance to again apply that approach against a Washington run defense that ranks 24th in the league.

"I feel like it's very important because the run game helps everything else. The run game helps the pass, the run game helps the quarterback get settled in, it just helps everybody," Crowell said.

As for reaching 1,000 yards? 

Crowell's on pace to hit that figure and then some.

"It's kind of cool, it's very important to me because my goals — my personal goals," he said, "but really I would like to get a win and do whatever I can to help my team right now."

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