Many outside of the Denver Broncos organization have stated that the team’s chances to go the distance in 2013 took a serious hit after linebacker Von Miller was suspended for the first six games. However, the Broncos themselves do not appear to be overly concerned about reaching the Super Bowl, even if they will not have their best defensive player for approximately one-third of the regular season.
“Everyone’s pressing the panic button,” linebacker Shaun Phillips, who will play in Miller’s place, told USA Today Sports. “We haven’t even played a game yet. We’ll be quite alright. Football is about 11 players at a time doing their job, not one player doing their job.”
As true as that statement is, there is certainly no denying the affect Miller had last season. The 24-year-old led the team in sacks (18.5) and forced fumbles (six) while he also recorded 68 total tackles and one interception that was returned for a touchdown.
One thing that is going Denver’s way is that they have one of the easiest schedules of any NFL team this season. In fact, the only two major challenges in the first six games are against the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants. Obviously, the other four teams could pose to be a threat as there really is no true way to know how good a team is until regular season games are played. However, on paper, the Ravens and Giants are the two teams that the Broncos will miss having Miller for.
Losing Miller is definitely a big deal, but the fact is quarterback Peyton Manning is the No. 1 reason why Denver should not panic. The veteran signal caller is still one of the best in the business. Not to mention, the addition of Wes Welker to go along with an already very talented group of receivers means the Broncos could very well be unstoppable on offense.