Browns-Broncos matchup is family feud for Chubb cousins

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DENVER | When Bradley Chubb was annoying quarterbacks in the ACC and Nick Chubb was plowing through SEC defenses, the second cousins dreamed of squaring off against each other in a bowl game.

Bradley, a defensive end at North Carolina State, and Nick, a running back at Georgia, were never given that opportunity in college.

FILE – At left is a 2018 file photo showing Denver Broncos NFL football rookie defensive end Bradley Chubb. At right is a 2018 file photo showing Cleveland Browns NFL football rookie running back Nick Chubb. They are second cousins who will be facing each other for the first time ever when the Browns visit the Broncos for a Saturday night game in Denver. (AP Photo/File)

However, they’ll finally face off Saturday night when Nick’s Cleveland Browns (5-7-1) visit Bradley’s Denver Broncos (6-7) in what is essentially an elimination game in the congested AFC wild-card race.

“I know he’s not going to hold back and he knows I’m not going to hold back,” Bradley said. “It’s just going to be a regular football game. You can’t put too much weight on it because then if you start thinking, ‘My cousin’s on the other side,’ then you end up getting trucked or something. You’ve just got to keep it pushing and just play.”

That said, he knows the victor will have family bragging rights. “It’s going to be junk talking for about a year or until whenever we play each other again,” Bradley said. “It should be fun.”

Many draft prognosticators targeted Bradley as the Chubb that would star in Cleveland, but the Browns instead chose defensive back Denzel Ward with the fourth overall pick in the 2018 draft and the Broncos gladly grabbed Bradley at No. 5.

Thirty picks later, Cleveland selected his second cousin in the second round.

Both Chubbs have are enjoying strong rookie seasons.

Nick’s 92-yard TD run against Atlanta in Week 10 was the longest in Browns history and the second longest by a rookie in the NFL.

Bradley’s 12 sacks are a franchise rookie record and he’s 2½ sacks shy of Javon Kearse’s NFL rookie record that has stood for nearly two decades.

“I’m not really thinking about that,” Bradley said. “We just came off a tough loss and now I want to get back on the winning track, whether it be getting one sack, zero sacks or 30 sacks in one game.”