How will the Denver Broncos cope with losing Von Miller?
For Denver, the season-ending ACL injury to Von Miller is a major blow to an already hurting pass rush. Last year they were home to the best pass rush in the NFL; they’ve been middle of the pack this season.
Of course, the Broncos were without Miller for basically the first half of the season and were only so-so at putting pressure on the quarterback, that didn’t change much when he was back on the field in Week Seven until Week 16. In nine games, he recorded five sacks, including two on Tom Brady with a forced and recovered fumble, but certainly not the same disruptive force he was the last two seasons.
So, how will Nate Irving fill in for him? It’s difficult to say for sure.
Whle Miller is that pass-rushing specialist, Irving is more a regular linebacker, able to rush or cover offensive players in the passing game. Without a doubt, he can’t rush the quarterback like Miller and hasn’t had enough time to truly develop his talents. Irving has started three games this season – against the Giants, Eagles and Jaguars – and has totaled 35 tackles in spot time throughout the year. It will certainly be interesting to see what he can do with the rest of the regular and then postseason.
Shaun Philips only has one sack over the last five games and needs to find a way to create more pressure, as do the rest of the Denver defensive line.
Like this? Click here to read why Chris Schmaedeke thinks the Broncos aren’t doomed without Von Miller.