The Denver Broncos currently have the second-best run defense in the NFL, and if the Washington Redskins give up 17 yards to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football (almost a certainty against the electric Kareem Hunt), the Broncos will be the best.
Even more impressive is how resilient the Denver defense has proven to be against run-heavy teams. So far, the Broncos have faced Melvin Gordon and the Chargers; Ezekiel Elliott's and the Cowboys; LeSean McCoy and the Bills and the Raiders with Marshawn Lynch. In that span, they've given up 203 yards on 84 attempts -- or 2.4 yards per carry. That's good for best in the league.
Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliott, LeSean McCoy & Marshawn Lynch combined against the Broncos' run D this season: 50 carries, 95 yards, 0 TD.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 1, 2017
In a division like the AFC West, controlling the clock is the best way to win games. The Broncos are doing that with one of the best front sevens in the league and a strong secondary. Although they're 13th in the league in pass defense, the Broncos' dominance in the ground game has been on display all season. Without playing the Broncos, Elliott would be averaging four yards per carry on the season, rather than 3.6. The Broncos held Elliott to less than a yard per carry in a 42-17 romp in Week 2.
Adam Gotsis and Kyle Peko have been huge difference makers for the Broncos run defense so far this season. Their ability to command the interior has allowed Denver's excellent run-stopping secondary to swarm the ball, and with aggressive corners like Aqib Talib and Chris Harris -- in addition to the surprising Justin Simmons -- the Broncos have been able to stop any progress at the line of scrimmage.
If the Broncos can iron out some of kinks in the passing game, they may be able to return to 2015 form, which turned out to be a historically good defense. They're already dominating great backs, and their next challenge will be against the New York Giants, who don't have a running game to be found so far in 2017.