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Eagles RB Bryce Brown will be tested by Buccaneers rush defense

The Buccaneers have the No. 1 rush defense in the league, but Brown is averaging more than 8 yards per carry in his two most recent games.

Matt Sullivan

There isn't much that has worked for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012, but the emergency of rookie running back Bryce Brown is one thing that has fans looking forward to games. Brown started the first game of his career against the Carolina Panthers and ran for 178 yards in the Philadelphia loss. His second start came against the Cowboys in Week 13, and despite another Eagles loss Brown had 169 yards. He's averaged more than eight yards per carry over those two games.

That momentum may come to a halt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have the toughest run defense in the league. The Bucs have given up 988 yards on the ground this season, making them the only team below 1,000 yards at this point in the season. Opponents average just 3.4 yards per carry, and the team has given up only 9 rushing touchdowns, putting them in the top half of the league.

Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano noted that Brown is "a very explosive runner," praising the back's vision and athleticism. Philadelphia's offense maximizes that, said Schiano:

"Their rushing attack, the way they run wide zone plays, really lends itself to [Brown's] abilities. So, I think he's perfect for what they do on offense."

Tampa Bay's pass defense has struggled to match the run defense, but if the Bucs can stuff Brown they should be able to find big opportunities against rookie quarterback Nick Foles.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.