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Von Miller blames himself for 23-20 loss: ‘I have to be a game-changer’

The edge rusher seems to have lost his cape.

Los Angeles Rams v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Von Miller seems to think the Broncos’ 23-20 loss yesterday was his fault.

“I just can’t get it done. I need to watch the film and figure it out — what I can do to make things happen,” said the linebacker who accounted for 1.5 of the Broncos’ five sacks yesterday but was also part of the unit that allowed Todd Gurley to rush for a career-high 208 yards.

“We knew we’d be leaking the run today because the pass was our focus, but 272 yards is just ridiculous. I’ve got to do better,” Miller added. “I was able to get some sacks today, but the game-changing plays, I just still didn’t make them.”

Nevermind the taunting from Emmanuel Sanders that possibly prevented a touchdown. Or holding penalties that pushed an already ineffective Case Keenum back to 3rd-and-30. Or an absent running game (17 out of 58 plays) or multiple missed opportunities on third and short.

As far as No. 58 is concerned, he alone has to be amazing for this team to win.

And sadly, he’s probably not wrong - at least the part about being amazing. Doing it alone, though, is not going to be enough.

“We start fast and we’ve just got to be consistent. I’ve got to be consistent. I’ve got to do better and get sacks and forced fumbles and pick it up and score,” Miller said. “Those are the type of plays that I dream about every day, and I’ve got to start making those for us to start winning.”

There is definitely reason to think the offense cannot get it done and plenty of blame for falling short the fourth week in a row - ineptitude in the red zone, penalties, play calling - but Miller still sees the loss as something he can - and should - fix in spite of the offense.

“I’ve got to get better. I’ve got to get there. I’ve got to make the big plays. Sacks, forced fumbles, the plays that I’m known for. I’m just not making them,” the frustrated veteran said. “I’m falling into sacks like the other guys in the league and that’s just not me. I’ve got to do better and I’ve started. I will do better.”

After starting the season with three sacks on the elusive Russell Wilson in Week 1, Miller has only 5.5 through six games.

In “Miller’s world,” as he says, that’s not even close to good enough.

“Von’s play hasn’t been what it’s supposed to be for my teammates to be successful,” Miller added. “I’ve been saying it for two weeks. I will definitely get it done. I’ve never gotten up here and lied to you guys, not one time, and that’s definitely No. 1 on my list. I will get that finished.”

A bright spot in his quest will be his rookie sidekick, Bradley Chubb. The first-round pick had three sacks in yesterday’s game against the NFL’s best offensive line.

More of that and Miller will be his sidekick - as Miller seems to understand.

“It’s me. Chubb had a great day today,” he said. “I was close on one, but close don’t really do it for you in the National Football League.”


But that doesn’t mean there weren’t good things to build upon from the loss. The defense held the Rams to just 23 points - their lowest score this season - and Chubb’s three-sack bonanza was done within his first six games as an NFL player. It took Miller 23 games for that kind of production.

But the rookie isn’t as happy as he might be with that performance since it didn’t end with a W.

“It’s good and all that to get to the quarterback three times, but it’s not good enough, you know what I’m saying?” Chubb said. “ We feel like in the Outside Linebackers Room, we put all the pressure on us. If we want to win, we’ve got to make plays. Sometimes we did make those plays, but we’ve just got to do more.”

Miller and his teammates insist the issue is not play calling. He “100 percent” believes in the defensive scheme and says the players need to either make it happen or change the play.

“We lost, and it’s on us. The coaches called the plays. If we don’t like the plays, change the play,” he said.

One thing Miller knows for sure is that the loss hurts - and that’s how it should be.

“You’ve got to be hurt after losses like this. It’s just not something that you can rub off and say, ‘We’ll be better after this.’ It doesn’t work like that. You’ve got to be hurt when you lose,” he said. “You shouldn’t be laughing. It should wear on you. It should really bother you to lose on this level. Everyone is getting paid, everyone has responsibilities on this team and the No. 1 responsibility for all of us is to win, and we are not doing that. I’m not doing that. It should hurt. It should feel bad, and if we all feel the same way that I’m feeling, we’ll be great.”

Miller didn’t take the bait when asked about fans booing and being upset too. But he definitely put out a subtle call to fans to keep the faith - because he’s going to do better.

“I’ve never attacked the Denver Bronco fan base. They’ve been through thick and thin with me. Loyal as heck,” he said. “We’ve got real fans here. If fans are losing hope, I just can’t believe that. We’ve still got a long season ahead of us, and Broncos Country has been great for us. We still need them to do the same thing for us to get this turned around.”

And what makes that possibly believable?

Because Miller hates where the team is right now.

“I hate losing more than I love winning, so in the spot where we are at right now, I can’t even put it into words,” he said. “It’s our message to the guys, just keep playing. It’s a championship fight. You lose a couple rounds at the beginning. Just keep playing and find out where we end up.”


Have you given up on this team?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Never. I’m here for you, Von!
    (348 votes)
  • 48%
    Pretty much, yep. See ya in the offseason.
    (325 votes)
673 votes total Vote Now