February 25, 2016

Manning Should Have Advertised Miller, Not Budweiser

Matt Nadel ‘17

In an NFL that is dominated by offenses, once again a defensive team reigns supreme.
The NFL’s best team in terms of yards allowed per game, the Denver Broncos, beat the league's best team in terms of offensive points per game, the Carolina Panthers, in Super Bowl 50 by a final score of 24-10.
Much like Super Bowl XLVIII MVP, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, Super Bowl 50’s MVP is also a linebacker: defensive All-Pro, Von Miller.
Miller collected 2.5 sacks and forced Carolina quarterback Cam Newton to fumble twice in Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco – one of which was returned for a touchdown – in what could have been the former second overall 2011 draft pick’s last game as a Bronco.
The four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro linebacker just finished his last season under his existing contract with Denver and hopefully, for teams lacking a strong linebacking corps, will test the waters of free agency. Teams like the Giants, Saints, Browns and Colts will most likely go after this behemoth and rightfully so. Miller has already totalled 60 sacks in his five-year NFL career and doesn’t even seem to have reached his peak yet.
But is the former Texas A&M Aggie worth all the money that he’s projected to sign for? Does a team like the Giants, which have tons of cap space, really need a player like Miller? The answer is undoubtedly yes.
On a Broncos squad that has stars all over the defensive side of the ball like Malik Jackson, DeMarcus Ware, Chris Harris, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward, Miller was the one who performed the best when it counted the most: the Super Bowl. He’s the anchor of that linebacking crew, but arguably also the entire defense. He may have been down in tackles during the 2015 season, but that’s only because opposing offenses tried to move the ball away from him, yet he was still a positive factor in the Broncos’ defensive prowess.

Having played under multiple defenses, Miller is very versatile at the linebacking position and is one of the more complete linebackers in the NFL, which justifies the free agent buzz surrounding him. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone if he ends up as the highest-paid defender in NFL history come the start of the 2016 NFL regular season.

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