Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s primary goal has always been to stop the run and force opponents to become one-dimensional. Sunday, the defense will have a massive challenge in accomplishing that weekly mission against the Cleveland Browns.

Running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt form the best backfield duo in the league. The pair combined for 230 rushing yards and a touchdown last week against the Houston Texans.

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This week, Schwartz and his staff will need to figure out a way to contain the Browns’ dominant running back duo.

“It’s our biggest challenge of the season in the run game,” Schwartz said Tuesday. “And how well we stop the run is going to go a long way to how well we play in this game. They are an outstanding run team. Probably the best two running backs we face this year.”

The Eagles have struggled against mobile quarterbacks this season, but the defense has done a good job of mitigating the effectiveness of opposing running backs.

Running backs are averaging just 3.4 yards per carry against the Eagles through nine games. Only four running backs have produced 50 or more rushing yards against the Eagles this season.

But, as Schwartz noted, the Browns’ backfield is better than any group the defense has faced this year.

Chubb comes into this matchup averaging an outstanding 6.1 yards per carry, and Hunt is gaining 4.7 yards per handoff. The duo has combined for 1,094 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns, despite Chubb missing four games on injured reserve earlier this season.

“You see those guys hitting the hole 100 miles per hour and not looking to stop any time soon,” middle linebacker T.J. Edwards said. “Once they get through those interior run gaps, they’re out of the gate. We have to do a good job of reading our keys, squeezing those gaps and try to make it more difficult for them.”

Chubb and Hunt are both very hard to bring down. They can gain ground after contact, no matter what is in front of them. That’s why it’ll be an “all hands on deck” situation for the Eagles’ defense this weekend.

“It’s going to take everybody,” Schwartz said. “It’s not just the defensive linemen, it’s not just the linebackers; our corners are going to have to have an outstanding game defending the run.”

Tackling will be at a premium in Cleveland. If the Eagles want a shot at controlling the clock and the scoreboard, the defense will need to stop Hunt and Chubb in their tracks, early and often. The defense can’t let Hunt and Chubb dictate the game flow.

“I think we’re a good running defense, first of all,” safety Rodney McLeod said. “It’s going to be a battle. It’s one of those games where you pack an extra mouthpiece, extra shock pads. Those are two good running backs and you know exactly what run plays are coming at you and it’s ‘can you stop it?’ They’re dynamic, they run hard and we have to have a population to the ball.”

At 3-5-1, the Eagles lead the NFC East entering Week 11. But, following a rough loss to the Giants, their backs are against the wall as they enter a gauntlet of difficult matchups.

The Browns are the first battle on their prospective redemption tour, and stopping Hunt and Chubb will be paramount in jumpstarting their hopeful second-half turnaround.

If the Eagles can contain the Browns’ rushing attack and win on the road, they could build some momentum as they head into a four-game stretch against four NFC playoff contenders.

“I think it’s exciting,” Edwards said. “It’s a great matchup and I think it’s one of those things where we get to go out and show who we are.”

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