The NFL has had it’s worse off-season in it’s history and the hits just keep on coming. Think back to prior years where there have been headlines off the field, they rarely happened to teams at the top. Now here comes the latest in Von Miller appealing a violation of an NFL policy that may be drug related. We know that he is a star and this will not hurt him overall but what does this do to his team??
When we last talked about the Denver Broncos, we gauged how effective Miller was going to be now that his bookend counterpart is now in Baltimore. In our season preview: https://taylorblitztimes.com/2013/05/08/2013-denver-broncos-preview-one-more-moment-for-manning/ we wondered if they had adequately replaced Dumervil and here we are headed to camp when this bombshell hits. If his appeal goes down in flames, the Broncos will be without the services of their best player against the Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, and the Philadelphia Eagles. Which gives game 2 some added significance.
One of the bigger stories for us is how Raven Tackles Michael Oher and Bryant McKinnie totally neutralized him in last year’s playoffs. He only mustered 1/2 a sack in that 38-35 overtime loss. That performance was the impetus to the collapse of the Bronco defense in that game. Flacco went deep often and scorched the secondary with no pass rush in sight. After stealing Dumervil in free agency, how does the Denver defense stop Baltimore when they come to town September 5th??
If the Broncos go down in week one they have to go to New York and face Eli Manning in what should be the final Manning Bowl. With the chance to play the Super Bowl in their own home stadium as a backdrop to Denver facing one of the league’s best QBs with no pass rush, an 0-2 record is a distinct possibility. The Giants have shown the ability to clamp down on offenses that struggle to throw past 15 yards. Everyone watched the film of that playoff loss and there have been grumblings that he’s having some physical discomfort during the OTAs. This would be a game where they desperately need a pass rush.
After a four game suspension, the Broncos can ill afford his coming back rusty. In upcoming weeks he’ll have to chase Tony Romo, Andrew Luck, and RG III before we get to the second half of the season. If this suspension holds up this could have a domino affect on the season. Not as great as what Aaron Hernandez will have on the Patriots, but it will take it’s toll. To lose 29.5 sacks in Dumervil and Miller is a lot of QB pressure. If the Broncos have to manufacture a rush with the blitz, Peyton and company had better be ready for some high scoring affairs.
The only player to come back from a four game suspension and have a monster year was Lawrence Taylor in 1988, when he gained 15.5 sacks in just 12 games. Although they finished 10-6, it was their 2-2 start that kept the Giants from entering the postseason. What will the Broncos record be after 4 games without Miller?? To who would the losses come against and how would that structure AFC playoff proceedings?? Don’t forget that Lawrence Taylor’s Giants in 1988, lost the fourth game to the Los Angeles Rams 45-31. Take a wild guess who finished with an identical record and went to the playoffs on a head to head tiebreaker. Something to think about… Von Miller, your mission, should you choose to accept it….
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