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Von Miller Gives Browns Bulletin-Board Material to Rally Slumping Broncos

Is Von Miller the only play holding the line in Denver?

The Denver Broncos received a rousing war cry from their future Hall-of-Fame player on Tuesday. Von Miller did his best to give the depleted Cleveland Browns some gift-wrapped bulletin-board material while trying to spark his team. 

"I will play well," Miller said. "I don’t know who the tackle is that I’m going against, but I’m going to kill him (laughs). I’m going to kill him (laughs) and the other guy on the other side (laughs). I’m going to play extremely well. I’m going to make plays for my team. I’m going to set us up to win this game.”

Given the Broncos' current three-game slide back into the ranks of mediocrity, it was almost fait accompli that it would be left up to Miller to stir up the very passion and energy that has been sorely missing of late.

Heading into Thursday Night Football and a trip to face an old rival, Miller’s timing speaks volumes of the need to make a strong statement before it’s too late to save the Broncos' season. The eight-time Pro Bowler os going off his gut feeling, drawing a line in the sand right here and now.

“You just feel it and it’s genuine,” Miller said. “This time when Thursday night comes around, I want to put it on me. I wanted to put the pressure on me. If it’s all on me, then I can control that. I can control it. I can handle it, and I can make [expletive] happen like that. It’s football.”

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Miller has played such self-motivational tricks on himself before, with the sole intent to raise his game to such a level that the team is swept along on his coattails. Think back to the 2018 campaign when Von guaranteed that the Broncos would 'kick they ass' of the Arizona Cardinals. 

That's exactly what happened as the Broncos romped all over the Cardinals 45-10. Another common thread to that bold claim? It was also Week 7 and also a TNF throwdown amid a Broncos slide.  

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Considering the Browns will be minus both starting tackles to protect quarterback Case Keenum — who'll start in place of the injured Baker Mayfield — the chances of Miller pulling off the same kind of destructive night like he did against the Cardinals back in 2018 have definitely increased.

Such bullish fighting talk is all about showing that Miller remains the alpha male of the underperforming Broncos defense. The unit simply has to rally around him. When push comes to shove, Miller is determined to take matters into his own hands.

"If you look at this season, in the first three games, I had a couple sacks, and we won those games," Miller said. "These last three games, I didn’t do as much. If I can play well, get sacks and find a way to disrupt the game, we’ll win. The pressure is on me to play well."

It’s still only Week 7, but it’s undoubtedly time for the rubber to meet the road for the slumping Broncos, and for superstar players like Miller to elevate and remind everyone what they're about. Miller’s bold statements mean it’s 'put up or shut up' time for Denver.

The trouble is, with so many underperforming teammates, anything superhuman Miller might pull off could still prove to be futile in the final analysis. Football is the ultimate team sport after all but as our Thomas Hall broke down last week, the analytics prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that notching sacks is one of the surest ways to guarantee victory in the NFL. 

Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL.

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