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Von Miller Injury is Big Blow to Denver Super Bowl Hopes

Thus far, the Denver Broncos offense has received all the headlines. Broncos’ fans were worried when star quarterback Peyton Manning suffered ankle sprains in November that the team might not continue winning.

However, the defensive unit is now getting all the headlines after star linebacker Von Miller was injured and lost for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament tear.

Manning has had such a good season that with one game remaining his has already broken the all-time touchdown passes record for a single season.

However, Miller’s loss could be devastating to the team’s bid for another Super Bowl victory. Miller missed the first six games of the season and Denver did not miss a beat going 6-0. The offense however was scoring 44 points per game while averaging 476 yards of offense during the six games.

Nonetheless, at this time, the defense for Denver is struggling mightily and the unit was relying heaving on their star linebacker to make the big plays during the playoffs.

A number of key defensive starters have been injured making the loss of Miller than much more of a blow. Champ Bailey the veteran cornerback, who has now returned from a nagging foot injury that has hampered him all season. Even though he is back, it does not mean he is 100%.

Rahim Moore, a free safety, and Kevin Vickerson a tackle are both on injured reserve. Derek Wolfe one of the defensive ends has an illness that caused seizures last month and has not played since.

Kayvon Webster took Bailey’s spot in the secondary while the veteran was sidelined. He now plays nickel back, but suffered a broken thumb. Webster might play wearing a cast but having a rookie cornerback now slowed by a cast on his arm, is not the best thing for the defense.

Two of Denver’s defensive starters have also recently been benched. Duke Ihenacho and Wesley Woodyard a safety and linebacker respectively have been limited to half or less of the defensive snaps for the past couple of weeks.

Losing a player of Miller’s talent is more than just losing his number of sacks, as he is also exceptional in run support and can cover a tight end or back out of the backfield in pass coverage.

Miller has been labeled as the top outside linebacker in the NFL and the fifth ranked overall defensive player and that is despite playing only 8 games this seasons. Miller is easily amongst the top 5 defensive players in the NFL.

The Broncos defense allowed over 63 yards more per game to opposing defenses without Miller in the lineup. Points wise they allowed just 0.5 of a point more with Miller out injured.

In the big games, the best players always rise to the top. When Denver played New England, Miller sacked Tom Brady the Patriots quarterback twice, force one fumble and scooped another up and scored on a 60-yard return.

Manning can help the Denver defense overcome the loss of Miller through is prolific passing game and high scoring offense. However, during the postseason things get tougher, scoring goes down and defense becomes even more important.

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