Several months ago, Chrome started experimenting with adding suggested articles to your new tab page. That was neat when it was optional. In the new Chrome 54, it's mandatory. Here's how to turn it off. When you open a new tab in Chrome 54, if you scroll down you'll see recently used bookmarks, followed by a list of suggested articles (the same one Google Now shows you that can be a little bit of an echo chamber). If you're not a fan, open both of the following settings in Chrome and disable them:
You may have to restart the browser for it to work. Once it's done, however, those suggested articles should be gone. Enjoy your clean new tab page!