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NFL Matchup: #1 run defense vs #1 run offense, who comes out victorious?

The Denver Broncos have been turning some heads the first few weeks. Denver was expected to be one of the best offenses coming into the season, but no one expected them to be quite this good. The team is leading the league in scoring, averaging 10 points more than anybody else at 42.3 points per game.

With the offense on pace to break all kinds of records, there is one facet of the Denver Broncos that is sorely getting overlooked. The Denver Broncos run game has been absolutely extraordinary to this point.

In the three games, their opponents have rushed for totals of 58, 23 and 49 yards. Denver's opponents are averaging 43.3 yards per game and 2.33 yards per carry. The second closest team averages 20 yards more per game and nearly half a yard more per carry. Running backs have ran the ball for 94 yards on 53 carries against the Broncos and averaged a meager 1.8 yards per attempt.

It hasn't been just one person that is playing well for the Denver Broncos defense, but an accumulation rather. Defensive tackles Terrance Knighton and Kevin Vickerson have been huge controlling the line. Defensive ends Robert Ayers and Derek Wolfe have been extremely stingy. All three speedy linebackers Nate Irving, Danny Trevathan and Wesley Woodyard have been all over the field.

Of course, Denver's offense should be given a little credit for the defense's success against the run too. it's a little easier to stop the run when you have quarterback Peyton Manning leading the offense to score in the 30s-40s regularly. Opposing teams cannot run the ball effectively when they're down two scores in the second half. Also, Denver's defense has been able to stay much more fresh with Denver's offense controlling the clock.

Though the Denver Broncos had a nice test with the Oakland Raiders' number one rushing game coming into the game, they most likely won't have a better test than with the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. The Eagles currently lead the NFL in every rushing category other than rushing touchdowns. They've rushed the ball 94 times for 627 yards, averaging 6.6 yards per carry.

Running back LeSean McCoy has been a huge part of the early success the Eagles have had on the ground. McCoy has over two-thirds of the Eagles' rushing yards at 395 and has made every defense he's faced looked foolish. McCoy is one of the fastest in the game and he's in a category of his own with some of his moves. He's easily one of the top backs and should not be taken lightly.

Quarterback Michael Vick is also someone teams will need to keep a close eye on. Vick only averages 6 rushing attempts per game, but he's averaging a whooping 10.7 yards per carry when he decides to tuck the ball and run. He is no slouch tossing the ball either.

If the Denver Broncos can continue to oppose their will and hold opposing offenses to under 100 yards rushing, there should be little skepticism on the legitimacy. However, if the Eagles' run game can exploit Denver's defense, Denver probably isn't as good as advertised. The Broncos' defense averages just over 43 yards per game and the Eagles' offense averages just under 210 yards per game, so someone will have to break. Sunday will tell us who that will be.

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