Found November 21, 2012 on
(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.
BEST OF MAXIM
(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
On Wednesday, the NFL announced that Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Against the Chargers on Sunday, Miller notched six tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles in Denver’s 30-23 win over San Diego. His three sacks and two forced fumbles both represented career highs.
On Wednesday, the Denver Broncos placed running back Willis McGahee on injured reserve, the team announced via Twitter.
Per CBA rules, the Broncos placed McGahee on IR with a designation for return, meaning he may be able to play again this season. In six weeks from today, McGahee will be allowed to practice with the team again—he will be allowed to play again in eight weeks...
The Broncos placed starting running back Willis McGahee on injured reserve yesterday, leaving no short-yardage backs remaining on the roster.
Denver will likely have a rotation of Knowshon Moreno, Ronnie Hillman, and Lance Ball on Sunday, but none of those three backs can run between the tackles or pass block as well as McGahee. For that reason, the Broncos have...
Even though the Denver Broncos placed running back Willis McGahee on injured reserve, they put him on the designation to return list in hopes that he’ll be back in time for the AFC Championship game. Of course they’re being optimistic that they’ll make it that far this season.
IR for Willis McGahee expected as @jayglazer reported. But it would be with designation to return...
Willis McGahee has been placed on recallable injured reserve by the AFC West-leading Denver Broncos.
The Broncos (7-3) put their 31-year-old running back on the list Wednesday, meaning he can return to practice after missing the final six regular-season games and play in a game after missing two more.
That would bring Denver up to the AFC title game.
McGahee tore the medical collateral...
If only Lance Ball could have found the umpire faster, Matt Prater might just have written his name in the record books.
The Denver Broncos had crossed midfield and Prater was all set to try a 67-yard field goal right before halftime in their 30-23 win over San Diego, but the clock ran out before the umpire could spot the ball for Peyton Manning to spike.
Oh well, maybe next time...
Mike Adams remembers feeling the pit in his stomach when, instead of going to the supermarket, his mom, his aunt and a few of his six siblings walked around the corner to the church to pick up Thanksgiving dinner.
The volunteers put the cranberry sauce, the turkey, the mashed potatoes and the rest into a shopping cart and little Mike, not even 10 at the time, followed everyone back...
Last night we all spent our time focusing on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s performance in his first career start and the implications that it had for Alex Smith (myself included) without considering the impact of Aldon Smith’s equally impressive night. Smith went on a tear against the Bears offensive line recording 5.5 sacks; and this performance begs the...
With every free agent running back and his brother wanting to fill the void in Denver’s backfield, the Broncos decided to workout just one free agent, Steve Slaton.
Per Mike Klis of the Denver Post:
The Broncos worked out former Houston Texans running back Steve Slaton on Tuesday morning. As of Tuesday evening, the Broncos had not yet signed the former West Virginia...
(Eds: With AP Photos. Corrects sport designator) By ARNIE STAPLETON AP Pro Football Writer If only Lance Ball could have found the umpire faster, Matt Prater might just have written his name in the record books.
The Denver Broncos had crossed midfield and Prater was all set to try a 67-yard field goal right before halftime in their 30-23 win over San Diego, but the clock ran out...
The 2012 NFL Power Rankings with the Denver Broncos a top the charts.By Tyler Lurkins Denver(7-3)-Power rankings are not set due to record. At the end of the week, who is the best team. Denver is playing tough as Manning is leading them to the post season.(Last week:2)Houston(9-1)-A team that wishes to have playoff success needs to put away a team like Jacksonville. Houston...
RB Ronnie Hillman (Denver)
Percent owned (ESPN): 0.9%
Willis McGahee is going to be out an extended period of time and possibly the season with a broken leg and torn MCL. Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball will split carries in his absence, but Hillman has by far the most upside of the bunch. He led the duo in carries 12 to 6 against San Diego after McGahee went down and the 3rd round...
According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, Broncos RB Willis McGahee has been placed on the injured/reserved list with the designated to return tag.
McGahee tore his MCL and broke his leg in the Broncos week 11 game and is currently expected to miss 6-8 weeks which would place his return sometime around the AFC Championship.
RB Ronnie Hillman has been praised by the Broncos coaching...
Ronnie Hillman (Denver Broncos)With Willis McGahee out at least 6 weeks, Ronnie Hillman steps into the picture as a potentially solid replacement. We don’t know how much of a time-share he will have with Lance Ball, but I think Hillman is the back who comes out on top in the last few weeks. Peyton Manning knows when to run the ball, and running backs have typically done pretty...