Nick Chubb is the reason you DO and DO NOT pay running backs! – Pablo S. Torre | PTI

In this video by ESPN, Pardon The Interruption’s Tony Kornheiser and Pablo S. Torre discuss the impactful events of the Cleveland Browns losing the game and their star running back Nick Chubb to a devastating knee injury, as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers scoring 14 of their 26 points on defense. The debate revolves around the bigger story and the larger implications it has on the running back argument. While Chubb’s injury seems to validate the argument against paying running backs, it also highlights the importance of their role, especially in the absence of other key players within the division.

The Argument for Paying Running Backs

Importance of a dominant running game

Having a dominant running game is crucial for the success of an NFL team. A strong rushing attack not only helps control the game tempo but also opens up opportunities for the passing game. Running backs play a significant role in achieving this dominance on the ground. They are responsible for carrying the ball, breaking tackles, and gaining valuable yardage. A running back with exceptional skills can elevate the entire offense and provide a consistent source of production.

Impact on team success

Teams that invest in their running backs often see a positive impact on their overall success. A reliable and talented running back can contribute to a team’s ability to convert critical yards, especially in goal-line situations. They can also help sustain long drives, keeping the opposing offense off the field and providing rest for the defense. Additionally, a strong running game can control the clock, allowing a team to secure leads and protect them in the latter stages of the game.

Key role in offensive strategy

Running backs are key components of offensive strategies in the NFL. They can be utilized in various ways, including rushing, receiving, and blocking. Their versatility allows offenses to keep the defense guessing and adapt to different game scenarios. A dynamic running back can be a dual threat, capable of contributing in both the running and passing game. This versatility puts additional pressure on defenses and opens up opportunities for big plays.

The Argument against Paying Running Backs

Injury risk and longevity

One of the main arguments against paying running backs is the inherent risk of injury and their shorter career longevity compared to other positions. Running backs often face physical contact on a regular basis, increasing their chances of sustaining significant injuries. These injuries can have long-lasting effects on a player’s performance and overall career. Given the physicality of the position, teams may be hesitant to invest large sums of money in running backs due to concerns about their durability.

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Replaceability of the position

Another argument revolves around the idea that running backs are replaceable assets in the NFL. Some believe that teams can find similar production from less expensive options, such as younger or lower-cost players. The league has seen numerous instances of running backs emerging from lower draft positions or free agency and performing at a high level. Critics argue that investing heavily in a running back may not provide the same return on investment as other positions, making it more prudent to allocate resources elsewhere.

Salary cap implications

Paying running backs significant salaries can have implications on a team’s salary cap. The salary cap restricts the amount of money a team can spend on player salaries, and allocating a large portion of those funds to a single player, like a running back, may limit a team’s ability to sign or retain other key players. Balancing the need for a talented running back with financial constraints can be a challenge for teams, especially when trying to build a well-rounded roster.

Nick Chubb is the reason you DO and DO NOT pay running backs! - Pablo S. Torre | PTI

Nick Chubb’s Impact on the Debate

The significance of Chubb’s injury

Nick Chubb’s injury highlights both sides of the argument surrounding paying running backs. On one hand, his injury supports the argument against paying running backs, as it showcases the physical risks associated with the position. Chubb’s injury serves as a reminder that even the most talented running backs are susceptible to significant injuries that can impact their performance and long-term viability.

On the other hand, Chubb’s injury also validates the argument for paying running backs. His absence from the Browns’ lineup exposes the importance of a dominant running game and the impact a talented running back can have on a team’s success. The Browns’ offense may struggle to replicate Chubb’s production and the versatility he brings to the field.

Validating both sides of the argument

Chubb’s injury serves as a stark reminder of the risks and rewards associated with paying running backs. It underscores the debate about whether teams should invest significant financial resources in the position. The injury has reignited discussions about the value of running backs and how their performance and durability can shape the fortunes of a team.

Long-lasting ramifications for the Browns

The loss of Chubb to injury will have lasting ramifications for the Cleveland Browns. Chubb’s absence leaves a significant void in the team’s rushing attack and offensive strategy. It puts additional pressure on the remaining running backs to step up and fill the void left by Chubb’s injury. The Browns’ success may hinge on their ability to adapt and find suitable replacements for Chubb’s production.

DeSean Watson’s Performance and the Browns Defense

Assessing Watson’s performance

DeSean Watson’s performance has been a point of concern for the Cleveland Browns. His poor play, characterized by turnovers and pick-sixes, has put additional pressure on the team’s defense. Watson’s struggles have hindered the offense’s ability to sustain drives and put points on the board.

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Defensive struggles and liabilities

While the Browns’ defense has been performing admirably, there are still areas of concern and liability. The defense has faced challenges in limiting opponents’ scoring and creating turnovers. Despite their best efforts, the defense has been burdened with the task of compensating for the offense’s lackluster performance.

The impact of off-field controversies

Watson’s off-field controversies and legal issues have also impacted the Browns’ perception and performance. The decision to sign Watson, who had a morally indefensible rap sheet, has drawn criticism and scrutiny. The negative attention surrounding Watson’s legal troubles has created distractions and potentially affected team chemistry, further exacerbating the challenges faced by the Browns.

Nick Chubb is the reason you DO and DO NOT pay running backs! - Pablo S. Torre | PTI

Divisional Challenges and Implications

Uncertainty surrounding Joe Burrow

The divisional landscape of the AFC North is characterized by uncertainty, particularly regarding the availability of Joe Burrow. Burrow’s injury and potential absence have put the Cincinnati Bengals in a state of flux. Without their starting quarterback, the Bengals’ ability to compete and challenge other divisional opponents is questionable.

Browns’ reliance on Chubb

The Browns’ reliance on Nick Chubb becomes even more apparent in light of his injury. Without Chubb’s contributions to the rushing attack, the offense may struggle to find consistency and sustain drives. The loss of Chubb has forced the Browns to evaluate their offensive strategy and identify alternative means of generating production.

Pittsburgh’s dependence on defense

Pittsburgh’s dependence on their defense is a common theme in the AFC North. The Steelers have a long-standing reputation for fielding strong defensive units, harking back to the days of the Steel Curtain. The team’s success often hinges on their defensive prowess, and they rely on their defense to set the tone and create opportunities for the offense.

Baltimore as the Division’s Strongest Team

Balanced offense and defense

Baltimore emerges as the strongest team in the AFC North, boasting a balanced offense and defense. The Ravens’ ability to excel on both sides of the ball gives them an advantage over their divisional rivals. Lamar Jackson leads an explosive offense, while the defense consistently performs at a high level. This balance puts the Ravens in a strong position to compete for the division title.

Concerns over Lamar Jackson’s durability

However, concerns over Lamar Jackson’s durability persist. Jackson’s playing style, characterized by his running ability, puts him at risk for injuries. The Ravens must manage his workload and protect him from potential harm to ensure his availability throughout the season.

The historical significance of Pittsburgh’s defense

Pittsburgh’s defense carries historical significance within the AFC North. From the legendary Steel Curtain to the current dominant presence of T.J. Watt, the Steelers’ defense has been a cornerstone of their success. The defense sets the tone for the team and provides a solid foundation for the offense to capitalize on.

Nick Chubb is the reason you DO and DO NOT pay running backs! - Pablo S. Torre | PTI

The Importance of Defense in the Game

Pittsburgh’s defensive legacy

Pittsburgh’s defensive legacy demonstrates the importance of defense in the game of football. Throughout history, the Steelers have consistently fielded strong defensive units that have propelled them to success. The performance of their defense has been a key factor in the team’s ability to win games and compete at a high level.

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The role of defense in team success

Defense plays a crucial role in a team’s overall success. A strong defense can create turnovers, limit opponents’ scoring opportunities, and provide excellent field position for the offense. A solid defensive unit can often compensate for deficiencies on the offensive side of the ball and help secure victories.

The impact of limited rushing yardage

Limited rushing yardage, such as the Browns’ one rushing yard in the first half of a game, highlights the importance of defense. When a team can effectively stifle an opponent’s running game, they can force the opposing offense into predictable passing situations. This gives the defense an advantage and allows them to make plays, generate turnovers, and control the tempo of the game.

The Randomness of the NFL

Unpredictability of the game

The NFL is known for its unpredictability. Each game presents an opportunity for any team to win, regardless of perceived talent disparities. Unexpected outcomes and upsets are a common occurrence in the league, showcasing the randomness and excitement of football.

Taking wins however they come

In the NFL, teams must embrace the mentality of taking wins however they come. Whether it’s a dominant performance or a hard-fought victory, teams must capitalize on every opportunity to secure a win. Even if the victory may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, a win is a win, and teams must make the most of their limited success.

Making the most of limited success

Achieving success in the NFL often requires making the most of limited opportunities. Whether it’s capitalizing on turnovers, converting critical third downs, or executing in the red zone, teams must maximize their chances to score and win games. The ability to seize these fleeting moments can be the difference between victory and defeat.

Nick Chubb is the reason you DO and DO NOT pay running backs! - Pablo S. Torre | PTI


The ongoing debate over paying running backs is a complex and multi-faceted conversation. The injury to Nick Chubb highlights the risks and rewards associated with investing in running backs. The impact of Chubb’s absence on the Browns’ offense underscores the importance of a dominant running game and the role running backs play in offensive strategies.

Furthermore, the divisional challenges and implications within the AFC North add to the intrigue of the debate. Each team faces unique circumstances and must navigate uncertainties to compete for the division title. Baltimore stands out as the strongest team, with a balanced offense and defense, but concerns about Lamar Jackson’s durability persist.

Ultimately, the importance of defense in the game cannot be understated. Pittsburgh’s defensive legacy and the impact of limited rushing yardage exemplify the significance of a strong defensive unit. Defense can often compensate for deficiencies on offense and play a pivotal role in a team’s success.

In the ever-changing landscape of the NFL, randomness and unpredictability prevail. Teams must adapt to unforeseen circumstances and make the most of their opportunities. Whether it’s a dominant defensive performance or a hard-fought victory, teams must embrace the randomness of the game and find ways to secure wins.

In conclusion, the debate over paying running backs is ongoing, with valid arguments on both sides. The injury to Nick Chubb further fuels the discussion, while the significance of defense in the game remains undeniable. As the NFL season unfolds, the impact of these factors will continue to shape teams’ fortunes and determine the success of their respective seasons.

In the debate between Tony Kornheiser and Pablo S. Torre on Pardon The Interruption, they discuss the significance of the Cleveland Browns’ loss in the game and RB Nick Chubb’s devastating knee injury. Alternatively, they also examine the Pittsburgh Steelers’ remarkable feat of scoring 14 out of their total 26 points on defense.

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