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Miller time leaves Chargers punch-drunk

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  • Miller time leaves Chargers punch-drunk

    DENVER – Blood trickled from Philip Rivers' right elbow to his forearm, dribbling through a series of gashes, scrapes and scabs.
    Von Miller can have that effect on a quarterback.
    Denver's dynamic pass rusher sacked San Diego's quarterback three times during the Broncos' 30-23 victory here Sunday. No one in the NFL does it better than Miller right now, and few have done it better, ever, in their first two seasons.
    Miller is only the fourth player to have at least 11 sacks in each of his first two years since 1982, when the NFL first started recording that statistic. Miller leads the NFL with 13 sacks, and he still has six games to go.
    Asked after this game, which essentially ended the AFC West race, what makes Miller so special, Broncos coach John Fox said: "It's a long list." The Chargers, having surrendered four sacks to Miller in two games, have seen the whole package.
    "He's got a lot of speed, so you've got to be quick with your set," said Chargers right tackle Jeromey Clary, who had the unenviable task of trying to block Miller for most of the game.
    "He's got a lot of moves, so you've got to be patient and use your hands. He got me a couple times. I can't let that happen. I can't put Philip in those situations."
    Said center Nick Hardwick: "He's a damn good football player. It shows up all over the film, and it shows up on the field. As a young football player, he's got a lot of savvy in his game. He's got a lot of hand use. He knows exactly where the plays are going."
    Miller, a 6-foot-3, 237-pound outside linebacker taken with the second pick in the 2011 draft out of Texas A&M, is renowned for his intelligence and modesty. Donning glasses off the field – and not just for show -- he definitely has that Clark Kent-Superman vibe going. Not that he'd ever talk about himself in that way.
    Miller credited Denver's defensive surge – the unit hasn't allowed more than two touchdowns during the team's five-game winning streak – to the play of the secondary. He wouldn't gloat about his recent accomplishments, which include seven sacks and three forced fumbles in the past three weeks.
    "My position coach (Richard Smith), he won't let me even think about it," Miller said. "I don't dwell on what's happened in the past. I just keep taking it one day at a time. I've been saying that all season, and it's been working for me."
    The 2011 Defensive Rookie of the Year might be the 2012 Defensive PLAYER of the Year. The Broncos might have the league MVP too – fellow by the name of Peyton Manning.
    Manning wasn't his usual razor-sharp self Sunday. He failed to complete 60 percent of his passes, threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown and suffered a sack that resulted in a safety. But his aim was perfect when it came to assessing Denver's Miller-led defense.
    "They just continue to get better each week," said Manning, who did pass for 270 yards and three touchdowns. "Those guys are playing at a really high level right now, and it sure is fun to watch."
    That depends on your perspective, of course. The vast majority of the 76,769 fans in attendance Sunday loved every minute of it. The Chargers? Not so much.
    Not only did they threaten the team record of 11 punts – Mike Scifres punted nine times and had one blocked, for the second week in a row – but the Chargers failed to convert their first 11 third-down attempts. That gave Denver a streak of 26 consecutive third-down stops, dating to Week 9 against Cincinnati, the longest in the NFL in the past 10 years. The Broncos do it primarily with speed, Miller flying in from one side, Elvis Dumervil the other.
    "They're very disruptive," said Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, whom the Broncos limited to two catches for 17 yards. "They have outstanding pass rushers, which limits (your ability) to make plays in the passing game. You're so focused on the speed of that defense, you (get caught) off-guard on a lot of occasions. You could see in the game, guys were coming free. They were able to get to Philip."
    The last play, appropriately, was a sack-fumble. Dumervil did the damage this time. Rivers recovered the ball as the final seconds ticked off the clock. He flung it to the nearest official and trotted to the Denver sideline to offer congratulations. The Broncos are the better team, and they just might have the best defensive player on the planet.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."sigpic

  • #2
    Great title, have to spread the CP.

    Hooray, beer!


    • #3
      Miller has been unbelievable. I actually get a little happier when offenses get a couple first downs because it's just more opportunities for our defense to make huge plays.


      • #4
        Got called out!


        • #5
          It sure is fun watching Miller Play.