For the fourth week in a row, the Broncos’ defense was faced with the challenge of going up against a Pro-Bowl caliber running back. Marshawn Lynch, this week’s challenger, had an favorable history against the Broncos, with a 3.79 yards per attempt average, three touchdowns, and a postseason touchdown in a Super Bowl XLVIII matchup. After being shut down in the previous week by the Washington Redskins, the Raiders also looked to make a statement in their first divisional game of the season.

The Broncos responded to the challenge with a statement of their own.

Oakland’s run-first offense was shut down for the second week in a row, limited to only 24 total yards on 15 attempts, good for an average of 1.6 yards per play. Lynch, himself, was limited to 12 yards on nine carries, a 1.3 yards per carry average. No Raiders running back scored a touchdown either. In fact, the Broncos still have not had a rushing touchdown scored against them this season.

“Our run defense has been stout the entire year,” said head coach Vance Joseph. “I have been very proud of how those guys have played the run. With a back like that and an offensive line like that, that’s really special — 24 yards.”

The Broncos’ run defense is currently one of the top in the league, leading in yards per rush attempt (2.4), yards per game (50.8) and are the only team that has yet to surrender a rushing touchdown. The Broncos are second only to Washington, who has yet to play their Monday night contest against the Kansas City Chiefs, in total yards, giving up 203 total yards this season to Washington’s 187.

This is a vast improvement to the 2016 season, where the Broncos’ rushing defense was ranked 28th in the league, giving up 4.3 yards per attempt and 130.3 yards per game. The 2016 team surrendered 15 rushing touchdowns, almost one per game.

“We have the same linebackers that we had last year. Really, it’s the same exact team. I think the energy and culture is different,” said linebacker Von Miller. Miller credits a lot of the success to the front three: defensive end Derek Wolfe, nose tackle Domata Peko and defensive end Adam Gotsis, who is starting in place of an injured Jared Crick. “When those three guys (are) playing the way that they play, it makes everybody’s job easier, especially in the run.”

The front three, with the help of the linebackers, have now successfully held the four starting running backs they have faced to a combined 95 yards and zero touchdowns. The Broncos have yet to give up 100 yards of rushing offense. Despite the fantastic numbers, the team realizes it needs to keep a level head about its success.

“As V.J. [Vance Joseph] said in our breakdown, we’re going to come back in our second quarter and teams are going to have four games of film on us. These guys find ways to make things work,” Gotsis said. “We’ve just got to keep rolling, keep playing good and stout defense. That’s all we can do, control what we can do when we’re on the field.”

The Broncos move into the upcoming bye week with a 3-1 record. They will face the New York Giants on Monday Night Football in week six of the NFL season. The Giants, notably, currently rank 30th in the league in rushing offense.