As the third quarter wound down, Von Miller finally fought his way to Baker Mayfield for his 98th career sack. He surpassed Denver Broncos Ring of Famer Simon Fletcher’s 97.5 sacks on the all-time list. No Bronco has ever sacked a quarterback more than Miller.
“I saw the video,” Miller said immediately after the 17-16 defeat to the Cleveland Browns. “Simon and I have been buddies for five or six years now. He drove all the way down from Wyoming to see it, so it was incredible to have that type of support from a Broncos legend. I’m really good friends with Simon and he’s always been positive, supportive and pushing me on to break it. Even when I had 30 sacks he was pushing me on. It’s a family over here and it’s an honor and a privilege for him to see me do it. He’s been an idol of mine for a long time and to break the record while he was here at home, it was good.”
Miller, who is a few months shy of 30, still has a long way to go. He’ll be chasing down some NFL all-time sack records by the time he is finished.
However, it was the teams loss that stung him the most. His demeanor was subdued and grim after the game, despite such an amazing accomplishment.
By the way, Von was not a happy interviewee tonight. Tough season for all involved at this point. Frustrating, because it feels like this team has talent to win games .. it's just not happening. https://t.co/0b6qsyDq7V— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) December 16, 2018
What Miller did do was thank Derek Wolfe for playing a vital and little known role in Miller’s ability to get to the quarterback. We’d call it defensive holding, but we’re Broncos fans, so we’ll call it skillful blocking.
“It’s a great accomplishment and I got to do it with [Derek] Wolfe,” Miller said. “It was ironic because I ran a game with Wolfe. That’s just how our relationship has been. He’s been running the game with me. It’s like Dirk [Nowitzki] and Steve Nash. He’s gotten me open and he’s helped me out to get sacks 50 million times. Shout out to Wolfe for being a great teammate and being a great brother as well.”
Wolfe and Miller have developed quite a chemistry on the line. With 14.5 sacks, Miller is second in the NFL behind Aaron Donald and 2.5 sacks ahead of rookie Bradley Chubb. Chubb has two games to break the rookie sack record that stands at 14.
For the Broncos at 6-8, they are on the cusp of their first back-to-back losing season since 1972. The playoffs are all but out of the picture again, as well. Miller is disappointed, but remains committed to this organization.
“It’s tough,” Miller said of potentially missing the playoffs for third-straight season. “I’m very fortunate to be a part of an organization that went to the playoffs and two Super Bowls. We’ve still got a great team and it’s a great organization, it’s just in a tough period right now. We’ve still got an opportunity. We’ll have to see how teams shakeup tomorrow. That’s just the world I like living in.”
Mathematically, the Broncos are not yet eliminated. However, that could change on Sunday as they enter these slate of games with a less than 1% chance of making the playoffs. They would need a lot of teams to lose every game.
It’s time we all start looking to 2019 to get this franchise out of the rut it has been in since Peyton Manning retired in 2016.