KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs are well aware of the challenge coming to Arrowhead when the Cleveland Browns offense takes the field on Sunday.
Browns running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have combined for 1,908 rushing yards this season.
“It’s like a double-headed monster,” All-Pro Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “When one checks out the game, another one comes in. Both of those guys are elite.”
In their wild card victory over the Steelers, the duo rushed for 124 yards on 26 carries. They also combined for 82 yards on five receptions, Chubb accounting for four of them.
“Really, they run their whole offense with both of them. That’s where they’re really effective,” Steve Spagnuolo, Chiefs defensive coordinator, said. “You can’t get a beat on that. We’ve got to defend the scheme.”
Spagnuolo added that Baker Mayfield’s ability to throw on the run makes them even harder to defend and their “eyes have to be right.”
This is not the first time the Chiefs have faced top running back talent. In last year’s AFC Championship, they held Derrick Henry, the leagues top running back, to 69 yards after he had combined for 588 yards in his previous three games.
In the Super Bowl, they were tasked with slowing down San Francisco 49ers duo Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman.
The interchangeable Cleveland-duo presents a tricky task for the Chiefs’ defense as they seek to repeat as champions.
“Kareem can do a lot of things out the backfield, they motion him out a lot in empty sets trying to find a matchup,” Mathieu said. “Nick Chubb reminds me of those old school runners. Big, stocky, low to the ground, tough to tackle. and then both of those guys are good in the pass game.”
Kickoff for the divisional matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns is Sunday at 2:05 p.m. CST.