The Broncos paid Von Miller like the best defender in the NFL this past offseason, and he isn’t disappointing.
Through the first half of the NFL season, no defensive player has been more dominant than linebacker Von Miller.
Coming off a historic performance in Super Bowl 50, the Denver Broncos’ star edge rusher has continued to be a one-man wrecking crew, compiling 8.5 sacks (second-best in the NFL), 33 tackles, and a forced fumble.
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When it comes to edge rushers specifically, no one has been better.
According to Pro Football Focus, Miller grades out second among edge rushers, though his competition – the Eagles’ Brandon Graham – has played almost 100 less snaps.
And Miller has actually been a more disruptive run defender than pass-rusher.
Just let that sink in for a moment.
As an all-around player, Miller might be enjoying his best season to date, as well.
Week in and week out, he’s proving worthy of not only his record-breaking six-year, $114.5 million contract, but of Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Clearly Miller’s been a handful for opposing offenses, so much so that it has taken nearly a quartet of blockers to slow him at times.
"“About three guys, three-and-a-half guys,” Miller said recently on PFT Live. “You know they might motion a receiver and he’ll get a chip and they might keep the tight end in, and the offensive tackle. Then the running back might come out and chip a little bit, too. So probably like three-and-a-half guys. But whenever teams are doing stuff like that I got a whole team, a whole defense full of stars, so it just gives other guys on my team opportunities to make plays.”"
Miller has recorded at least one sack in each of the team’s last 10 contests dating back to the AFC Championship Game, and has totaled 13.5 sacks in that time span.
And in seven of Denver’s eight games this season, No. 58 has taken down the quarterback.
Even if he doesn’t register a sack on the play Miller still consistently puts pressure on passers, causing turnovers or misguided throws.
Heading into the second half of the season, the Broncos will look to secure a sixth straight AFC West title, while Miller hopes to lock up his first DPOY award.
Miller’s dominance has not gone unnoticed and he can build on his strong campaign against some less than desirable offensive lines.
The highest paid defender in football has also been the best defender in football, and that’s just how it should be.