Everyone will wake up Monday morning talking about Khalil Mack‘s debut with the Bears, and rightfully so. But before anyone gives Mack the defensive player of the year award after one game, it’s worth glancing at Von Miller‘s stat line.
Three sacks of Russell Wilson. Seven tackles. Four quarterback hits. Three tackles for loss. Two forced fumbles. A fumble recovery.
Miller was asked if today signaled his return to an elite level of play.
“I just took it one day at a time,” Miller said, via quotes distributed by the team. “You know me, I never move faster than I have to. I never move slower than I need to and just stay in the moment. We’ve got a great team. We got a great win today. We played great defense. This is how you want to start a season off.”
Miller moved into sole possession of 50th place on the league’s all-time sacks list. He now has 86.5, having just started his eighth season after the Broncos made him a first-round pick out of Texas A&M.
He passed Leonard Marshall, La’Roi Glover, Greg Ellis, James Harrison, Osi Umenyiora and Willie McGinest on the sack list Sunday.
“It’s great,” Miller said. “To be 29 and to be in the top 50, the league has been around for [close to] 100 years now. It’s great, man. It’s a true blessing. It just shows you the type of teammates that I’ve had, from Derek Wolfe to Elvis Dumervil to Shaun Phillips to DeMarcus [Ware], and of course, to Bradley Chubb and Shane Ray and Shaq [Barrett]. It just shows you the type of support system that I have. My teammates, I make it hard on those guys every single day, and they make it easy for me, so it’s great to have teammates like I’ve had. It’s great to be on this journey.”
Miller finished second to Mack in defensive player of the year voting two years ago. Neither player received a vote for the award in last year’s voting.