ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — This wasn’t his expectation.
When Von Miller imagined playing in Head Coach Vic Fangio’s defense, he pictured a dominant unit and an abundance of sacks.
The former is arguably coming together, as the Broncos rank third in red-zone defense, fourth in total defense and eighth in scoring defense.
Miller, though, hasn’t found the same personal success in the sack column. Through seven games, Miller has recorded just 2.5 sacks. He’s never had a slower start to a season in his NFL career; his previous low came in 2015 when he recorded four sacks through the season’s first seven games. This drought also represents the second-lowest sack total across any seven-game stretch in his NFL career.
“I try not to talk about it honestly,” Miller said with a laugh Thursday. “[I’ll] talk about it when we’re doing good. I just try and fast-forward to the next game and put all our eyes on the next game. I have another opportunity to get it right this coming up game because there really not much that I can say about it. I’m rushing hard. I’m trying to get there, getting pressure and stuff, getting close to them. Just not being able to make that play.”
And while fans may be frustrated with Miller’s lack of production, it’s clear Miller holds himself to a higher standard than anyone else could.
“As tough as it is to see, 2.5 sacks, for my fans and stuff, you can only imagine how I feel about that, coming into the season with so many expectations,” Miller said. “The highest expectation that you could probably think of, we had that. We still have that now and that’s where the focus is. You can’t really just be stinking, thinking and standing in a dumpster. You want to think positive and just try to put your best football forward.”
Miller will continue to press the issue against Jacoby Brissett and the Colts in Week 8, but the task won’t be easy. The Colts have given up just seven sacks this season, which represents the second-lowest total in the league.
A player as talented as Miller, though, could break through for a couple of sacks. He’s certainly on the field enough to make that happen, as he’s played a higher number of snaps this year than in previous seasons.
“I feel good,” Miller said. “I feel at peace with my snaps because if I was playing 68 percent of the snaps and I only had 2.5 sacks it would be like, ‘We have to get Von back in the game. We need to get Von more shots at it.’ I’ve definitely taken all the shots that I could have possibly taken, and I’ve really left it out there and done as much as I could possibly do and that’s what I got. I’m at peace and I’m just trying to play my best football and trying to put my best football forward. “
It could be coming soon. Miller, after all, tends to break out of slumps with ferocity. After he ended the 2017 with two sacks in his final eight games, he started the 2018 season with a three-sack, two-forced-fumble performance.
“Around November is when I really turn it on and I get spicy,” Miller said. “I’m hoping the next couple of games will be good ones for me.”