Originally written on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 10/17/14
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings) As the regular season winds down, three main candidates have emerged in the Defensive Player of the Year race—Houston’s J.J. Watt, San Francisco’s Aldon Smith, and Denver’s Von Miller. On Monday, Smith recorded 5.5 sacks against Chicago’s garbage offensive line and passed Miller as the league’s current sack leader (15-to-13). After the game, Smith was quick to inform Miller that he had passed him. With this being the case, and after Smith recorded more sacks than Miller in 2011 (14-to-11.5), a great debate has emerged:  Who is the better player? I recently touched on this subject in my latest article over at B/R.  Let’s take a quick look at both Miller and Smith after the jump.  Miller is a more complete player and has single-handedly caused more havoc to opposing offenses than Smith has over the past two seasons. Smith, similarly to Houston’s J.J. Watt, has one main job—rush the quarterback.  In most of San Franchisco’s defensive schemes, Smith has his hand on the ground, preparing to rush the quarterback. Rushing the quarterback is his job, and he has done a heck of a job, notching 31 sacks over the past two seasons.  Smith deserves recognition for his pass-rushing abilities, but the reason Miller won DRoY is simple—he is no one-trick pony. Miller is asked to do far more than simply rush the quarterback week in and week out.  Rather, Miller is Denver’s “Sam”—strongside outside linebacker—in the Broncos’ 4-3 defense. A disruptive force, Miller has notched 44 tackles for losses over the past two seasons, which is more than any other player in the NFL during that time period (for comparisons’ sake, Smith recorded 28 during the same time frame). Miller is an outside linebacker that does a fantastic job of getting to the quarterback when he is asked to do so.  Smith, on the other hand, is listed as an outside linebacker, but from what I saw from Monday’s game, he rarely leaves a three-point stance—playing like a defensive end, rushing on every play I was able to observe. Against the run, Miller and Smith are not even comparable.  Miller has been phenomenal, especially this season, at bringing down running backs in the backfield. So, we are not yet ready to concede that Smith is a better pass rusher than Miller.  He merely gets more opportunities to rush the quarterback.
PLAYERS: Von Miller
TEAMS: Denver Broncos

Royals take Game 2 to even series with Giants

Report: Roger Goodell will have to testify in Ray Rice case

Blake Griffin accused of slapping man in Las Vegas club

Ronda Rousey to face Cat Zingano at UFC 182

Report: Zach Mettenberger to start for Titans over Locker

LaMarr Woodley likely done for season with biceps injury


Report: Some Seahawks think Wilson isn’t 'black enough'

Darrelle Revis sent home for being late, misses practice

Report: Texas to pay scholarship athletes $10K per year

Report: Widespread academic fraud occurred at North Carolina

NHL postpones Senators/Leafs game after Ottawa shootings

Lions send player home from London after cutting him

WATCH: Giants pitcher yells at Salvador Perez after HR

Will Muschamp's head coaching job posted on Craigslist

Miss California USA would like to date Eric Hosmer

WATCH: Eric Bledsoe sends Clipper flying with sick move

Kiffin's mom fears for son's safety in return to Tennessee

WATCH: Penguins perform 'O Canada' following tragedy

WATCH: Cutest grandma challenges Dwyane Wade to game of one-on-one

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

Porn star: No one parties harder than Sebastian Janikowski

Outrageous college football predictions: Week 9

World Series Game 2 Preview: Giants vs. Royals

Broncos News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Porn star: No one parties like Janikowski

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

NFL players who could be traded by the deadline

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.