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Horse Tracks: Von Miller is hitting his stride at the right time

Good Morning Broncos Country!

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos defense has been a big reason why the team has won 10 games on the season. Their pass rush has been the best in the league thanks to Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware and many other Broncos. With that said, Miller wasn't getting the sack numbers we all expected him to get in the first half of the season.

Miller was getting to the quarterback, hurrying the quarterback, and hitting the quarterback, but he wasn't getting the sack numbers. Through the first eight games of the season, Miller only had a total of 4 sacks. Since then, Miller been hitting his stride, and recording, at least, one sack for the past five games.

"I've just been able to string it together. Earlier in the season it was just hands slipped the waste. Now I'm able to get them. I guess it's just the groove right now. I'm just trying to do what I'm supposed to do in December."

Since week eight, Miller has totaled six sacks and forced two fumbles.

Miller thanks the Broncos secondary for his and the rest of the team's front seven for their success this season. He believes the Broncos have the best secondary in the league and that helps the front seven a lot.

"I mean it's been instrumental in our success on defense. We've got elite corners—probably top-five corners in the league. We've got the best secondary in the league right now. That's why our stats look the way they do. We've got Chris Harris Jr, Aqib Talib], T.J. Ward and after those guys, too, we've got Bradle Roby, David Bruton, Darian Stewart—we're pretty stacked in the secondary. That's part of the reason why we've had some of the success that we've been having with defense."

The Broncos secondary and front seven have a tough test this weekend when they head to Pittsburgh to take on Big Ben and the Steelers offense.

Miller will be facing off against Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert who Miller is good friends with and calls him one of the best right tackles in the game right now.

I'm going against a really good right tackle—probably one of the best right tackles in the league with Marcus Gilbert and a pretty good friend of mine. It should be a pretty good day. This is the game that I look forward to playing—a guy that I know we've got a relationship and I get to play against him every single play through the whole game. It should be a great game. It should be a battle that we could talk about this offseason.

If Miller gets past Gilbert he will have to try to take down Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Bringing Big Ben down is easier said than done for defensive players. Miller is looking forward to the challenge.

"Defensive players, they're getting to Ben, but Ben is just being so great. He's able to stand up and just throw it out of there. I really don't have a—what I see on film, every play is different. He's not getting sacked the same way every time. It should just be a great game. I'm looking forward to it."

I'm looking forward to it too.

Horse Tracks:

Seventeen things to know from Week 15 injury report -
With Sunday's crucial contest with the Falcons looming, the Jaguars got some bad news about T.J. Yeldon on Friday. Can Jacksonville ride Denard Robinson into playoff contention?

Patriots' Tom Brady (illness) questionable vs. Titans -
Where did all the Patriots go? New England, already decimated by injuries on offense, might be without Tom Brady against the Titans. The quarterback came down with an illness Friday.

Peyton Manning held out Friday, ruled out for Week 15 -
Peyton Manning was held out of Friday's practice with pain in his injured foot. Will that setback keep Brock Osweiler under center for the Broncos beyond Week 15?

Week 15 Notebook: Jay Gruden's Redskins rolling without drama -
How did one of the most drama-laden teams in the NFC East become one of its steadiest? Washington coach Jay Gruden gushes to Albert Breer about the Redskins' leak-free existence.

Matt Hasselbeck (ribs) probable for Colts vs. Texans -
Matt Hasselbeck is on track to get the start for the Indianapolis Colts as they face off with the Houston Texans with the AFC South on the line.

Despite stacked boxes, Gurley reaches 1,000 yards -
Todd Gurley became just the third Rams rookie to hit the 1,000-yard mark. Coach Jeff Fisher acknowledged the difficulty Gurley overcame with stacked boxes to broach the mark.

Pete Carroll on RB plans: 'You'll find out at game time' -
The Seahawks' backfield plans are so unsettled that Pete Carroll doesn't know who will lead the group until game time on Sunday. Will it be Bryce Brown, Christine Michael or Derrick Coleman?

Palmer: Tyrann Mathieu like Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed -
Carson Palmer raved about Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu as a mix of former playmaking safeties Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu. Is Mathieu a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year?

Big Ben says he hasn't found a weakness in Broncos' D -
Ben Roethlisberger says in studying the Broncos No. 1 ranked defense that he hasn't found a weakness. He'll need his prolific Steelers offense to solve the riddle and keep their playoff plans alive.

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady, TE Rob Gronkowski absent from practice
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (sick) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (not injury related) were not at practice Friday.

Michael Bennett of Seattle Seahawks defends Russell Wilson from comment of Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine
Michael Bennett said Russell Wilson is "definitely an elite quarterback" while responding to comments by Browns coach Mike Pettine from earlier in the week.

NFL delivers $138,902 in fines from Pittsburgh Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals game
Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was the big fine earner, drawing $69,454 for three separate plays in Sunday's game against the Steelers.

Internal NFL report finds player arrests down
Player arrests are down significantly this year, but the NFL has had difficulty gaining cooperation during investigations into player misconduct, an internal league report finds.

NFL fines Mike Mitchell for hit that concussed Tyler Eifert | ProFootballTalk
Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert will miss this week's game with a concussion. The hit that caused that concussion has drawn discipline from the league office. The NFL has fined Steelers safety Mike Mitchell $23,152 for hitting Eifert in the head while Eifert was in a defenseless posture.

Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr ruled out for second straight game | ProFootballTalk
Safety Harrison Smith returned to practice for the Vikings this week, raising some hope that he'd also be able to return to the lineup after missing the team's Week 14 loss to the Cardinals with a knee injury. It's not going to happen, though.

St. Louis approves $150 million for new NFL stadium | ProFootballTalk
The city of St. Louis has committed to spending $150 million to build a new NFL stadium -- even though there's no NFL team committed to playing in St. Louis. As expected, the vote today at St. Louis City Hall resulted in passage of the plan that would pony up $150 million for a new stadium.

Andre Branch fined for roughing the QB | ProFootballTalk
Jaguars defensive end Andre Branch has been fined $17,363 for a roughing the passer call in last Sunday's win over the Colts. The fine came because Branch delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit on Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. The Jaguars were flagged 15 yards for the play.

Bucs fans should be smiling that Jameis Winston wasn’t | ProFootballTalk
After last night's loss to the Rams, Buccaneers rookie quarterback Jameis Winston traded jerseys with St. Louis rookie running back Todd Gurley. After they removed their shoulder pads, extracted the jerseys, and swapped them, Winston and Gurley held each other's jersey up for a joint photo.