Four full games into their 2017 season, the Denver Broncos have surrendered a grand total of 203 rushing yards. In Week 1, they held Melvin Gordon to 54 on 18 carries. Week 2, Ezekiel Elliott had just eight yards on nine attempts. The next week? Just 21 yards on 14 rushes for LeSean McCoy. And in Week 5, before heading into a bye week, Marshawn Lynch could muster just 12 on nine.
Those are some heavy hitters at the running back position who went nowhere against the Broncos, who are off to an epic start in run defense and are on pace to break records in that discipline. Only one defense since the turn of the century has surrendered fewer rushing yards over the course of the first four weeks of a season.
It's early, but the #Broncos are surrendering just 2.42 yards per rush. No defense in modern NFL history has given up less than 2.69.
— Brad Gagnon (@Brad_Gagnon) October 2, 2017
And it’s not as though this is one of those anomalies that comes as a result of a team leading a lot. For the most part this year, the Broncos have been good, not great. Opposing offenses have had their chances, but those units are averaging just 2.42 yards per carry against the Broncos.
No defense in the Super Bowl era has finished a season with a rate lower than 2.69.
Now, coming out of their bye week, the Broncos host a New York Giants team that is averaging just 3.2 yards per carry and has sported one of the worst running games in the NFL for years. The Denver front seven should eat that offense for lunch, which means the Broncos could actually gain more separation from the rest of the pack in terms of stoutness against the run as we roll into the middle of October.