ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- These are not the 2015 Broncos. They no longer boast more stars than a planetarium.
For the Broncos to win -- especially on the road where they have one victory in two seasons -- All-Pro outside linebacker Von Miller must shine. No twinkles. Only full magnitude allowed.
The Broncos are saddled with a two-game losing streak. Miller has no sacks the past two weeks as part of a defense that has not produced a takeaway since the season opener. Only the Cowboys, with two, have fewer.
"I’ve got to get some sacks. If I can get to the quarterback, sack, force a fumble -- if I can get to the quarterback, I can maybe alter the throw. We’ve got a great secondary. I’ve just got to play better. I’ve got to do better. I’ve still got a long way to go and I feel like I can do that," Miller said. "We’ve got some big-time games coming up and I need to be big in those.”
Let's be clear. Von is not why the Broncos are losing. However, he can be the reason they win. He knows it.
His playing time this season, down 10 percent from his career, has become a topic. He told me Thursday he would like to go every down. However, that's not realistic because of the energy needed for an effective push throughout an entire game. And the Broncos have depth. As such, they are rotating pass rushers like line changes in hockey.
"It’s just different this year. It’s not me and DeMarcus (Ware), and the no-name guys behind them anymore. We’ve got big-time players between me, (Bradley) Chubb, Shaq (Barrett) and Shane (Ray). You have to find ways to get Shaq and Shane in there. I have to find ways to get on the field during crunch time in the clutch—which I am in there, usually," Miller said. "We’ve got four great pass rushers and it would be a total injustice to have Shaq and Shane on the bench."
Several players have told me Miller has been assertive from the moment he's walked into work. He is attempting to build off last week's momentum. The Broncos played well defensively, save for the final two series. Again, Von knows as he goes, they go.
"Last week’s energy was special. Granted, we were going against one of the best teams in the National Football League, but if we can keep that same energy, it doesn’t matter who we play. We can play anybody if we play with that type of energy," Miller said. "On Sunday, I guess I was more vocal. I really wanted that, just like everybody else, and I’ve got to continue to do that for the rest of the season for us. I am on that 100 percent."
Punter Marquette King missed his third straight practice. It increases the possibility Colby Wadman will be activated from the practice squad this week to face the Jets. ... Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave admitted it's time "to take the training wheels off" with rookie runningbacks Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay given how well they have played.