WHAT DOES MILLER HAVE IN STORE FOR A ROOKIE QB?
With two weeks to play, Miller needs a strong finish to record his sixth consecutive season with at least 10 sacks. After dragging Patrick Mahomes down once in Kansas City last weekend, Miller needs three sacks over the season’s final two games to reach the mark.
The Broncos’ star defender certainly has the potential to reach that mark, even as he continues to battle a knee injury. In Week 4, Miller had a pair of sacks, and he added 1.5 sacks against the Colts in Week 8. During his nine-year career with the Broncos, Miller has recorded at least 1.5 sacks in 24 different regular-season games. Miller, of course, also had back-to-back games with 2.5 sacks during the team’s 2015 playoff run.
Against rookie quarterback David Blough, Miller could record another multi-sack game that puts him in position to reach double digits. The rookie from Purdue has taken nine sacks in his three games as a starter, and the Lions offensive line has given up 38 sacks this year, which ranks 18th in the NFL entering Week 16.
Even if Miller isn’t able to get Blough on the ground, he can still impact the rookie’s ability to throw the ball. In a Week 14 win over Houston, Miller recorded a pair of quarterback hits on Deshaun Watson and also pressured the Texans’ quarterback to throw the ball away on several occasions.
Blough’s quarterback rating has dropped each week as a starter, so it’s possible Miller could find more success this weekend. If he can force Blough to throw an interception or record some timely sacks, the Broncos should be poised to earn another win.
Perhaps Miller can even pull out his patented strip-sack against Blough. Miller has yet to record a forced fumble this season, which would mark the first year in this career that he’d gone without at least one.
Miller constantly talks about his ability to make game-changing plays. Can he make one against the Lions?
HOW DO THE BRONCOS’ PRO BOWL SNUBS RESPOND?
Wide receiver Courtland Sutton and safety Justin Simmons seemed like prime candidates to make their first Pro Bowl. When the rosters came out this week, though, Sutton was named an alternate and Simmons was left off the list in its entirety.
During his weekly media availability, Sutton didn’t have much to say about the snub.
“It is what it is,” Sutton said to repeated questions about the Pro Bowl.
Will his play do more talking on Sunday? Sutton already has a pair of two-touchdown games this season, and there’s little doubt another one would help prove he deserves to be recognized as one of the league’s best.
Similarly, if Simmons is able to add another interception to his season total, he’d send a message to the Pro Bowl voters.
More importantly, if either of the two Broncos stars have big games, Denver should find itself in good position to beat Detroit.
There’s nothing wrong with a little added motivation. Will the Pro Bowl snubs provide it?