Denver Broncos: Von Miller playing like a defensive player of the year
Von Miller is starting to gel with Bradley Chubb and the pass rush for the Denver Broncos looks lethal again starting with their franchise’s best player.
The Denver Broncos drafted Von Miller in 2011. In fact, Miller was the first player selected when John Elway was hired on as Vice President of Football Operations. Not very often do executives see the first ever selection become their franchise’s best player and defensive player of the year every single year.
Miller is well regarded as a top three pass rusher and possibly the best in the entire league. Miller is as complete of a player as you will find in the game today. He is the ultimate game wrecker and it is surprising he has never won a defensive player of the year award.
Since the start of 2011, Miller has registered 91 sacks — six shy of Simon Fletcher, the team’s all-time leader. Miller has more sacks than JJ Watt (83) in that span. Also, Miller leads all players since 2011 in forced fumbles (24).
These unbelievable numbers have been racked up by a player that has yet to receive a defensive player of the year award. At the end of the day, he has the two greatest hardware pieces of them all: Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP.
On the other hand, it is still abomination Miller has yet to receive the recognition he deserves as defensive player of the year.
This year is no exception either. Miller started hot against the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders recording four sacks. The next three games Miller did not register a single sack. While he did hit the quarterback twice in those three games, there was a drop-off. However, as all great players do they rise above it and push through even harder to crack open the ice again.
Miller knew his play needed to be better.
This leads to an underrated trait of defensive players of the year. Leadership and making bold statements come true. Before the Arizona Cardinals game Thursday night, Miller made a season-defining comment. He mentioned that they will kick the Cardinals ‘booty’.
Miller walked the walk after he talked the talk.
We saw glimpses of Miller’s resurgence with a 1.5 sack against the Los Angeles Rams and two quarterback hits. The Denver Broncos lost that game. Losing streaks are not in Miller’s DNA. Also, Miller does not throw these statements around often.
This made his guarantee eye-popping. Then it was time to back it up. In the In the Thursday night game, Miller became a possessed pass rusher. He sacked Josh Rosen two times, hit the Cardinals quarterback, and forced two fumbles with one recovery.
The defensive player of the year award is about rewarding a season of stellar play. It is hard to predict where the Denver Broncos will be at the end of it all. But Miller’s comment is one to spark a flame for his play the entire season. Right now, Miller is your defensive player of the year.