Forget Defensive Rookie of the Year, Broncos‘ rookie linebacker Von Miller is a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. Through his first twelve career games, Miller has totaled 62 tackles, 11.5 sacks (tying a franchise rookie record), defended four passes and forced two fumbles.
Drafted second overall last April, Miller has not disappointed in Denver. It would be hard to argue that any other defensive player in the league has had more of an impact for his team that Miller has this season.
On Sunday against the Chicago Bears, Miller recorded five tackles (four solo, two for a loss), a sack and drew three false starts from Bears’ right tackle Lance Louis. Despite playing with club due to an injured thumb, Miller was again a key part of another Broncos victory.
Benefiting from the emergence of Miller has been defensive end Elvis Dumervil. After missing all of the 2010 season with a pectoral injury, Dumervil started out the 2011 season slowly, still trying to get his mojo back. Over the past six weeks, Miller has totaled 5.5 sacks (missing one game) and Dumervil has notched 7.5.
Meeting at the quarterback on a weekly basis, Miller and Dumervil have helped the Broncos record at least two sacks in twelve consecutive games – which is the longest of such active streaks in the NFL. On the season, Miller and Dumervil have combined for 19.0 sacks, which is just four shy of what the entire club totaled last season (23).
If you haven’t already, vote for Miller to go to the 2012 Pro Bowl. If you already have voted, vote again. With three games left to play, Miller needs three sacks to tie the single season rookie record.
The Broncos haven’t had a rookie defensive player have such an impact on their season since — I don’t know when. Miller’s dominating run continues, and it has been fun to watch. Here’s hoping he breaks the rookie record and gets the consideration for Defensive Player of the Year that he deserves.