Von Miller was the Broncosí most dominant player Sunday, even with Peyton Manning as his teammate.
Thatís no surprise. Miller might be the NFLís best defensive player. Better than J.J. Watt, the Texansí splendid defensive end. Better than Charles Tillman, the Bears cornerback who has turned forcing fumbles into an art form.
att and Tillman both had a terrific September and October. But Miller is having a November to remember. Millerís performance Sunday was sensational. He had three sacks, two forced fumbles and two tackles for a loss, leading the Broncos to a 30-23 victory over the Chargers.
Miller now leads the NFL with 13 sacks. He has seven in the last three games. In only his second season, Miller has joined Reggie White, Dwight Freeney, and Javon Kearse as the only four players with 11 sacks or more during their first two seasons.
When Miller comes roaring off the edge from his outside linebacker position, he invokes memories of his idol, Derrick Thomas, the late Chiefsí Hall of Fame linebacker. Miller wears No. 58 in honor of Thomas. The legacy is being upheld in glorious fashion.
Miller is the most important defensive player on a Broncosí team that looks like a legit Super Bowl contender. If the Broncos are going to do damage in the playoffs, they need a defense that can rattle quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Matt Schaub and Ben Roethlisberger.
A dominant pass rusher is the best way to neutralize quarterbacks in todayís pass-happy NFL. Miller gives the Broncos that guy. Even when he doesnít get a sack, Miller can cause havoc. His best play in Sundayís game led to an interception by safety Jim Leonhard. Miller shed off a chip block, made his way through inside traffic, and got close enough to Rivers to force a mistake. Rivers unloaded the football early, before Miller could unload. But the presence of Miller caused Rivers to throw a pick, which was worse than taking a sack.
Miller loves to dance after sacks, which means heís gotten plenty of practice perfecting his moves. Maybe a spot on "Dancing with the Stars" is in Millerís future. At the very least, Millerís national profile is rising. Watching the Broncos isnít just about watching what Manning will do next. Itís about watching Miller.
Miller probably wonít win the MVP award. Defensive players have a hard time doing that.
However, the Broncos clearly have two MVP candidates, one on each side of the ball. We already knew how good Manning was. Now weíre finding out how good Miller is, too.