There are 16 teams in the AFC. There are 11 starters on the Denver Broncos defense. It had been 38 weeks since one of them had a performance deemed worthy of Defensive Player of the Week Status.
Von Miller changed that last Thursday night.
The Broncos’ sensational rookie outside linebacker has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week, the NFL announced today.
In prime time, Miller was a force against the New York Jets offense and Mark Sanchez, tallying a career-high 10 tackles (9 solo), including 1.5 sacks (12 yds.) and three tackles for a loss. He also registered four quarterback hits, one forced fumble and one pass defensed in Denver’s 17-13 win against the N.Y. Jets in Week 11.
Miller leads all rookies with 9.5 sacks on the year.
Champ Bailey was the last Bronco to net the award, an honor received following Week 4 in 2009.
This weekly award could be a sign of things to come: while Miller is a frontrunner for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, he is also making noise in overall Rookie of the Year circles. But it gets even better — he’s gaining buzz as a legit Defensive MVP candidate as well. It seems impossible, but if Miller somehow continues to improve, we could be talking about the league’s best defender in 2011, rookie or veteran.