When the Bengals face-off against the Denver Broncos on Sunday with all of the hype surrounding Peyton Manning and his 7-0 all-time record against Cincinnati, the less-heralded but just as dangerous Von Miller will be looking to build on his outstanding 2012 campaign which has seen him rack up six sacks, 38 quarterback disruptions, and rated as the #1 overall 4-3 outside linebacker (+38.4) by Pro Football Focus, a ridiculous 23 points ahead of the next rated player in Oakland’s Phillip Wheeler (+15.2).
The person who will primarily tasked with blocking him will be offensive tackle Andre Smith, who is having one of the best seasons (+7.3) of his 4-year NFL career. In last year’s matchup against the Broncos, Smith did a serviceable job against Miller, holding him to just one sack and one hurry when tasked with blocking the reigning defensive rookie of the year. It was the first career-sack of Miller’s career, and has since racked up 16.5 more QB takedowns. He finished the 2011 season with 11.5 sacks, 19 QBhits, and 29 QB hurries, was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, as well as being selected to the Pro Bowl.
While all the talk surrounding the Broncos is the resurgence of Peyton Manning right now, Von Miller is by far the best football player in the state of Denver right now, and some would argue he’s one of the best in the NFL.