Pressure and time.
That’s all it takes really – pressure and time.
Von Miller may or may not be a “Shawshank Redemption” fan, but he definitely understands the relationship of pressure and time.
And he definitely got redemption.
In his illustrious five-year career plus two games so far in the sixth, the outside linebacker has never gotten the best of Andrew Luck in their previous meetings. And by extension, the Broncos had been bested by the Colts in the AFC rivals’ series.
But Miller just needed time.
Then he poured on the pressure.
Redemption was his for the taking.
“You really don’t need a rah-rah speech going against Andrew Luck. He’s one of the elite quarterbacks in the National Football League. …You just automatically get up for your game,” Miller said of his motivation for finally sacking Luck. “He can make every single throw. He can run the ball. He’s not going to take ‘No’ for an answer. He’s not just going to lay down and give you a sack.”
But No. 58 got them anyway.
Three of them actually, one of which caused a fumble that Shane Ray could scoop up and take in for the “nail-in-the-coffin” score.
In fact, you could argue that Miller’s entire career has been one of pressure and time.
Although the Texas native’s 2012 campaign has been his most productive in terms of sacks with 18.5, the dominance Miller started building last season is gaining momentum and elite quarterbacks are definitely taking notice.
“He’s a very good player and we have the utmost respect for him,” Luck said, adding that the Broncos’ defense is tough to beat even if he avoids a sack. “They can cover multiple ways. They defend well in man, they defend well in zone, and they defend well in blitz and dog. They do a really nice job of that.”
Miller’s teammates certainly know their outside linebacker is somebody special.
“We just wanted to get after them and make them throw something fast,” Aqib Talib said about the final minutes when the defense needed to secure the win. “Von did what he do. He’s the best at it. He’s the best pass rusher in the game right now and he showed it today.”
Shaquil Barrett, a fellow outside linebacker, loves leaving the game to pressure from Miller.
“He most definitely comes through in the clutch,” Barrett said. “He’s the guy I want rushing off the edge on fourth-and-10 and last play of the game. I already know he’s going to get it.”
Despite missing all of the offseason, Miller is not skipping a beat in either game shape or football shape as he is on track to be better this year than any previous one.
And Miller now has 70.5 career sacks in regular and postseason play, tying Leslie O'Neal for the ninth most sacks in NFL history through their first six years.
“It’s fun when you’re out there making plays. It’s fun when you’re out there doing your job,” Miller said after his “Vonstrous” play versus the Colts on Sunday. “It’s fun to take the coaching and apply it to the game.”
Von Miller has 10 sacks in his last six games, including postseason. That would put him on pace for 26.5 sacks over a 16-game period.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) September 19, 2016
The outside linebacker earned Pro Football Focus’ top defensive grade for the week with 88.2, noting that the Super Bowl MVP “made mincemeat of the Colts’ offensive line.”
“With a pass-rushing productivity mark of 17.0, Miller is converting a ridiculous 55.6 percent of his pressures into sacks this season.”
Miller noted last week that Luck has often complimented him on a good take-down. But No. 58 doesn’t want to be hearing all that when he’s got a game to dominate.
“Actually, he did. The second sack we got him, he was like: ‘Good sack.’ And I just wasn’t trying to hear it,” Miller said. “I was like: ‘Man, get back. We’re not trying to hear that. We’re coming all night and trying to get us the ‘W’.’
And although No. 58 has tons of respect for the Colts’ No. 12, he’s got no love for him during the game.
“What type of pass rusher would I be if I’m feeling sorry after I sack them? It’s what I’m supposed to do. I feel good. I feel great when I get them on the ground,” Miller said. “That’s why I dance and do all the other crazy stuff that I do when I get to the quarterback. That’s what we live for.”
Pressure and time.
“I’m a pass rusher, and whenever you go out there, do your job,” said the edge rusher extraordinaire. “It feels great to live up to the expectations that we have for ourselves on defense. And it feels great to go out there and get a win like we did today.”