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'We're a 3-6 team with eight games to go': Nick Chubb frustrated with Browns' start

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb runs on the field during an NFL football practice at the team's training facility Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb runs on the field during an NFL football practice at the team's training facility Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)

BEREA — The debate about who's overachieving or underachieving in the Browns locker room through nine games could involve a number of players. The player it wouldn't involve is Nick Chubb.

The Browns running back, despite coming off his second-lowest rushing total of the season in last Sunday's loss at Miami, remains one of the NFL's top rushers. So it's hard to argue that Chubb hasn't at least lived up to the expectations.

The problem is that the Browns, as a team, haven't so far. They find themselves sitting at 3-6 heading into Sunday's game at Buffalo, a record that isn't sitting well with their star back.

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"You know, it's always frustrating when you're not winning," Chubb said Wednesday. "Going into camp, working hard, doing all the things right, and then coming out to the games and the ball's not bouncing your way, it's very frustrating. We are who we are. We're a 3-6 team with eight games to go. This team is fired up and we're going to work today."

The latest loss may have been the most frustrating, in part because of how it unfolded and the context that surrounded the game. The Browns were coming off a bye, which was preceded by arguably their best performance of the season in a 32-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) tips the ball away from Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) in the third quarter at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Nov. 13, 2022.
Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) tips the ball away from Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) in the third quarter at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Nov. 13, 2022.

Although the Dolphins came in as one of the NFL's hottest teams, the Browns were able to limit the damage done by two of Miami's most potent weapons in receivers Tyreek Hill (five catches, 44 yards, touchdowns) and Jaylen Waddle (four catches, 66 yards). Instead, it was a season-high 195 rushing yards by Miami, the 28th-ranked rushing offense in the league entering the game, that helped lead to the 39-17 rout.

"We gotta play complementary ball in all phases, whether that’s the back end and the (defensive) line or the offense and defense," cornerback Denzel Ward said. "We just gotta all play together. I mean, it’s the greatest team sport and we just gotta do what we can to all work together to get on the same page and execute and minimize scores or yardage.”

Denzel Ward agrees with JC Tretter in battle against 'slit film' turf

The subject of grass vs. artificial turf came up last Saturday when former Browns center and current NFL Players Association president JC Tretter urged the league to eliminate slit film surfaces. That form of artificial turf is used on the home fields in New York, Detroit, Minnesota, New Orleans, Indianapolis and Cincinnati.