In the first two games of his sophomore season with the Denver Broncos, Von Miller has managed to get to the opposing quarterback three times; twice against Ben Roethlisberger and once against Matt Ryan. Though Miller has played well, he hasn’t been entirely noticeable, and has seemed to be far less of a factor then fans in Denver had hoped he would be.
Particularly against the Atlanta Falcons, Miller struggled as the entire Denver defense seemed incapable of getting any pressure on Ryan. As a result, Ryan was able to sit back and pick his targets with relative comfort, thereby keeping Peyton Manning off the field.
For the Broncos to put pressure on their opponents quarterbacks, Miller simply must be a factor, particularly with the absence of D.J. Williams who is currently serving a six game suspension. He’s the arrow on the spear of Denver’s pass rush, and if he has a slow game it’ll be tough for the rest of Denver’s defense to pick up the slack.
It stands to reason that if Ryan was able to run roughshod over Denver’s defense with some extra time in the pocket, Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans should be able to do that and more when they face the Broncos on Sunday.
Denver simply must get pressure on Schaub in this game. Along with Andre Johnson and Arian Foster, the Texan’s Schaub-led offense is one of the most feared in the AFC, and without Miller breaking through to at least put some pressure on, hosting Houston on Sunday could make the Falcons game will seem like “the good ol’ days”.
That being said, Miller has a real chance to make a statement against a formidable offensive line. If he can break through, and put consistent pressure on Schaub, he’ll disrupt both the running and passing game and make things much easier for the rest of Denver’s defense.
Miller’s task on Sunday is to simply get Denver’s defense off the field, and despite the leadership of Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil, he leads the charge when it comes to that responsibility. If he succeeds the Broncos will have a real shot at knocking off one of the AFC’s best, perhaps asserting themselves as not too far behind in their own right.