Von Miller is back, the New York Giants found out the hard way. Next, Jacksonville found themselves added to the list in Week 2. The Denver Broncos’ franchise player doesn’t plan on stopping either.
Amidst inclement weather, Miller collected his third sack of the season in addition to three tackles for loss, three solo tackles, three combined tackles and you guessed it, three quarterback hits.
Denver’s Dominant Defense Lives On
The Sack Master and his defensive unit stifled Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence despite the rookie’s promising start to the Week 2 matchup. The Broncos allowed 83 yards of offense and a touchdown on the opening drive before putting on the clamps.
The Jags were restricted to 106 yards of total offense, and importantly zero points, for the rest of the game. Lawrence, who started promisingly, was 9 of 25 for 45 yards and two interceptions, following the opening drive. So how did the Denver defense change the game so dramatically? Who better than Von Miller to let us know.
“You know how it is in the NFL, it’s just—those guys are a great team, really,” Miller said on September 19, via Broncos.com. “They’re full of talent. [They’re] going to make plays, we’ve just got to respond. We’ve got to respond and push through adversity and that’s what we did.”
It wasn’t pretty at times in The Sunshine State but it’s often less about the performance and more about the result. For the first time since 2018, Denver has won its opening two games of the season — the 18th in Broncos’ history.
“I know we’ve got a tough squad in there,” Miller said. “We got some tough, hard-nosed coaches. And I think it really bleeds out on our team and the personnel that we have. And we just keep on fighting, we just keep on fighting no matter what adversity that we’re presented with.”
Teddy Bridgewater was anointed the leader of the Broncos offense by head coach Vic Fangio and general manager George Paton. A fortnight into the season and he is now well and truly the the locker room commander. Miller attributed the Broncos’ never-say-die attitude to Bridgewater and his calmness under pressure.
“We’re following Teddy, he’s our leader” Miller said. “You all are watching the same game that we watch. You see the poise, he really doesn’t get flustered. He’s always aware of the situation, he’s always aware of what he needs to do and he does it.”
No Comparison to Super Bowl Winners
Despite the offense flourishing there are concerns surrounding Denver’s defense with injuries to Bradley Chubb, Josey Jewell and Ronald Darby testing their depth significantly. Though the Broncos have shown, even this early in the season, they are more than capable of covering the void. Denver’s all-time sack leader believes there’s one man to thank for it.
“George Paton has done an incredible job of building this roster up,” Miller said post-game. “Every single player we’ve got on the team has a purpose and they have George Paton’s touch on it. It’s always good to have corners. Pat Surtain II had his first start today. His first start, [he] had an interception. It was a great day. George has been doing a great job of building this team up and it showed what type of depth that we have.”
Miller is known for his tendency to praise the Broncos’ teams year in and year out despite how bleak the team looks, but this time he’s not get carried away. It seems he and the entire Denver squad mean business. One thing is for sure, he’s not interested whether this is or isn’t the best team since the Super Bowl 50 champions.
“Just getting behind comments like that and starting to believe stuff like that, it’s going to take us out of our rhythm,” Miller explained. “We’ve been fighting hard to get to this point. We’ve been fighting hard. We’ve overcame so many losing situations. I don’t remember the last time we’ve been 2-0. We just want to keep pushing.
“It’s not really about who we’re playing against, it’s not really about what type of game. We started out 7-3 starting the game, and we just kept pushing. You could see the fight in all the guys. You could see the fight in all the coaches. They continue to be aggressive and calling all types of plays, and we just kept fighting. It’s a different team for sure. I’ve been saying that since OTAs. It’s a very different team.”
Follow Patrick Djordjevic on Twitter: @Patdjordjevic