2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Broncos: Von’s gone, the biggest blow

Published: December 27, 2013, 10:33 am, by Paul Klee

Color me surprised that so many are trivializing the loss of Von Miller.

At some point it’s not just about Peyton Manning. At some point you take away enough cards and the house is bound to fall. Miller’s done for the season, and this one’s going to hurt.

This could be the straw that broke the Broncos.

A coach who was inside Houston’s Reliant Stadium on Sunday once told me that a championship franchise must be built around three positions. To win it all, all three should be elite: The quarterback. The left tackle. The pass rusher.

The Broncos were built on those three positions. They are down to 1 of 3. The quarterback is still standing. But the left tackle and pass-rushing linebacker are donesies.

It’s odd, and predictable, how some observers are downplaying the significance of the Broncos’ injury situation. These are the same observers who, if the Broncos don’t win the Super Bowl, will target Manning as the goat.

But when Miller was removed from Sunday’s game in Houston, I looked on the field and saw one player on the defense who started for the Broncos in the playoffs last January. One of 11! The one was Mike Adams. 

At some point these injuries are going to catch up with the Broncos. Miller and Ryan Clady are two of their top-three players. They are stars, and they are out. Derek Wolfe, Wes Welker, Champ Bailey, Rahim Moore and Kevin Vickerson are either ailing or unavailable for the playoffs. These are starters, and they are out, or injured. 

Did I miss anyone?

The Broncos will miss Vonnie Football, big time. More on this in Sunday’s Gazette.

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette