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Von Miller wasn’t a top-ranked edge defender according to Pro Football Focus

Von Miller was a game-changer for the Denver Broncos in their opening day win against the Seattle Seahawks, but apparently Pro Football Focus thought otherwise.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country.

Three sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a dynamic overall effort that undoubtedly helped propel the Denver Broncos to victory over the Seattle Seahawks. After limited participation in the preseason, Von Miller’s performance on Sunday was nothing short of amazing and demonstrated just how valuable a player of his caliber is. Any team in the National Football League would be beyond excited to have him as a centerpiece of their franchise, with the John Gruden led Oakland Raiders likely being an exception. However, there was one notable outlet that seemed to think Miller’s gridiron prowess wasn’t anything special.

Everyone knows about Pro Football Focus. Writers and analysts across the board (including us here at Mile High Report) have been citing their material for quite some time. For better or worse, they have changed the grading landscape when it comes to players. Moreover, have cemented themselves as a go-to resource for football fans across the globe.

You would think that Miller’s ferocious effort against the Seahawks would earn him an astronomical grade by their formula and a spot in their Team of the Week honors, but apparently not. Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears earned their top grade for edge defenders, with fifth-round rookie Genard Avery of the Cleveland Browns holding down the second spot. Avery had himself a respectable professional debut registering a sack, a quarterback hit and hurry, as well as several defensive stops — but how in the Hell does that earn a better grade than what Miller did?

Truth be told, the world may never know. If you check out the Tweet thread above, you will see PFF’s Gordon McGuiness attempt to give an explanation to justify Avery having a better grade. I appreciate his willingness to engage with fans about Miller’s notable omission, but his reasoning doesn’t seem to make much sense. There is no doubt that Miller had a better defensive performance than Avery on Sunday, regardless of how you try and spin it.

I’m not an expert by any means, but I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to understand who the better defender on the field was this past Sunday. For whatever it’s worth, PFF was the same outlet who gave John Ross a higher grade in his rookie season than Evan Engram last year. Ross played in three games in 2017 for the Cincinnati Bengals and registered no receptions and had one rush for 12 yards. On the other hand, Engram was one of the most productive rookies in the entire league, starting 11 games and reeling in 64 receptions for 722 yards and six touchdowns.

But apparently, just like in a particular high school course for a certain someone, you get a higher grade for doing nothing as opposed to something. Need I say more? I think you see where I’m going with this. Methinks there might be a little margin for error in their calculations, and I’m sure Broncos Country will feel the same way after reading this — if they already didn’t have qualms about their grading process to begin with.

As always, thank you for reading and here is today’s offering of Horse Tracks.

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