Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Broncos’ Von Miller fails to deliver after trash-talking Browns: ‘My pride is hurt more than anything’

Von Miller put the pressure on himself to deliver a Denver Broncos win — in a game his team needed to stay in contention in the talented AFC West. Miller didn’t even get a half to make an impact for the Broncos, leaving the game late in the second quarter with an ankle injury

The initial diagnosis for Miller is a mild ankle sprain (per PFF’s Doug Kyed) as he avoided major structural damage to his knee. Even though Miller played a half, he was highly critical of his performance — having two tackles and a quarterback hit in Denver’s 17-14 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

“My pride is hurt more than anything,” Miller said after the loss. “I talked a lot of shit before this game and I wanted to make it personal. I wanted the animosity. I wanted this to be that game, and I wanted to win it. 

“We did some good things in the half and I felt like I was gonna do some great stuff in the second half — but I got hurt.”

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Miller knew heading into the game Cleveland had a hobbled Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills, as both their starting offensive tackles were questionable for the contest. Conklin was out, but Wills played. No matter who started at tackle for Cleveland, Miller had a proclamation prior to the game — putting the pressure on himself to perform. 

“I’m going to have a great game. I’m going to go out there, and going to have to play well and get a couple sacks,” Miller said earlier in the week. “And if I do that then we will win…If I can play well and I can get sacks and I can find a way to disrupt the game, we’ll win. The pressure is on me to play well. 

“I don’t know who the tackle is that I’m going against, but I’mma kill him. I’mma kill him. And the other guy too, on the other side. I’m going to play extremely well and make plays for my team. I’m going to set us up and win this game for sure.”

Instead, the Broncos didn’t have Miller and lost. A healthy Miller may have made the difference. 

“Hats off to those guys,” Miller said. “They ran the ball well and had a lot of key screens, especially in the first half. We just weren’t quite able to get off the field on third down. We weren’t quite able to stop the run and that’s how we lost it today.” 

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