Denver Broncos stifle Marshawn Lynch with revived run defense

DENVER — They muted Melvin Gordon, erased Ezekiel Elliott and snuffed Shady, a.k.a. LeSean McCoy. So when the Denver Broncos suited up Sunday for a battle with the Oakland Raiders and their punishing, recently unretired running back, they were fairly confident they could blot out Beast Mode, too.

Nine carries for 12 yards later, Marshawn Lynch had been made painfully aware of a new reality in the Rockies: The Broncos, who last year seemed to be defending opposing runners with red capes and shouts of “Toro!” have called B.S. on that state of affairs. Four games into the 2017 season, it’s clear that Denver is giving no ground — and that’s a major reason it looks poised to make some serious noise in the AFC.

In a battle of AFC West rivals coming off disappointing defeats, the Broncos (3-1) smothered the Raiders’ offense in a 16-10 victory at Sports Authority Field, sending 76,909 fans home happy after safety Justin Simmons made a game-clinching interception at the Denver 8-yard-line with 1:46 remaining. And while the newest member of the No Fly Zone might have finished things, it

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