Offense sells tickets, defense wins games. Whether or not that statement resonates with you personally, it has really come into play this NFL season.
Of course, PFM is still a lively phenomenon in Denver, nor am I belittling the incredible performances of Bronco receivers and backs.
What I want to bring to attention is the magnificence of Von Miller and the Denver D. They are not the only group on the other side of the ball that are making headlines (what’s up JJ?) and that has made for a very exciting first half of the season.
Miller, who was Defensive Rookie of the Year is having another amazing season. His league-leading sack total of 13 was surpassed last week by the 9ers Aldon Smith (15), but lets not forget that Smith was up against Chicago’s poor O line and a second-string QB – so it hardly counts.
Anyway, in only 25 games, Miller has racked up 109 tackles, 6 forced fumbles and 24.5 sacks, second only to Derrick Thomas, his idol.
Miller’s number 58 jersey is a tribute to Thomas, the Kansas City linebacker he emulates so well.
When he is compared to Thomas, Miller is all modesty. “Derrick Thomas, to be even in the same breath as that guy is humbling,” Miller said in an interview with Sam Davis. “I’ve got a long way to go to be even close in my opinion. I’m just trying to make him proud and his family proud by wearing 58 and playing in a way that he would play.”
Well Von, we fans feel you are doing a pretty decent job of it. Plus, I think I speak for everybody when I say that we are all in awe of your dancing skills. Keep up the good work.
Besides Miller’s outstanding play, there are a number of defensive players tackling, picking and blocking their way into stardom.
Linebacker Wesley Woodyard is at the top of that list for me. Coming into his starting position this season after DJ Williams’ suspension, he has really made his mark. Though Williams made his return last week against the Chargers, Woodyard rightly maintained his starter position.
He has 88 tackles (54 solo), 3 interceptions, 3 sacks and a forced fumble this season, firmly establishing him as a veritable force behind each of the Bronco’s 7 W’s. Woodyard’s passion as well as his accomplishments should keep him at starting LB for the remainder of the season, sorry DJ.
Another player with a noteworthy season is corner Tony Carter. He has had so many instrumental defensive plays that have put us back in the game, or cut any lifelines opponents had clung to for a comeback.
Two interceptions, 17 tackles and a touchdown do not bring justice to his defensive performance this season. His stellar pass coverage and good pressure, make for key plays in crucial moments.
Last week against San Diego, his third quarter fumble return brought us back into the game when we were down 24-7. He is an irreplaceable force who will only improve.
It is a testament to our D that I have barely cracked the ice on the bubbling waves of talent present this season. It certainly makes a season more exciting when your team dominates on both sides of the ball. I think it’s safe to say the Orange Crush is back to stay.