With Week 5 just around the corner, it is time to think (or possibly drool) over the return of All-Pro linebacker Von Miller in Week 7 to the Denver Broncos. Even though the Broncos young and understaffed defense has played exceedingly well in through the first four weeks, the return of Miller will undoubtedly make a noticeable difference.
In his first two NFL seasons, Miller recorded 30 sacks, forced nine fumbles and even returned an interception for a touchdown. To put it simply, he is a game wrecker for opposing offenses. He improves seemingly every game in pass coverage, routinely hits ball carriers behind the line of scrimmage and even when he doesn’t get to the quarterback, his presence coming off the edge causes rushed passes and bad decisions.
More than just his individual ability, Miller’s play creates vast opportunities for his teammates and makes everyone’s job easier on defense. With arguably the fastest first step in the NFL and a deep bag of both finesse and power moves, Miller is virtually impossible to block one-on-one. As an offensive line, you must either bring in a tight end to help, limiting the number of skill players active in the play, or slide the protection, which opens space for the other defensive players to make big plays.
If Peyton Manning and the offense are able to continue their red hot start to the season, scoring 44.7 points a game, opposing teams will be forced to abandon the run early and rely on the passing game to keep up. At this point, the true nature of the former Texas A&M star is unleashed. When he is allowed to pin his ears back and focus entirely on getting to the quarterback, “Vonny Football,” as Broncos head coach John Fox calls him, is nearly unstoppable. Though he will only play 10 games this year, if the Broncos’ offense can stay the course, Miller could still record double-digit sacks.
Going undefeated in today’s NFL is nearly impossible, but if the Broncos can remain unbeaten until Week 7, their chances to do so will drastically increase based purely upon the return of Von Miller.
Written by John Spina. Follow him on Facebook, or on Twitter @jsspina24.