Each NFL team has a unique player whom a season might hinge upon.
Quarterbacks are the easiest to pinpoint — after all, if you don’t have strong quarterback play in today’s league you basically have nothing but an addiction to false hope and “what ifs.”
But what about those other key players?
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora listed each team’s make-or-break players and believes Von Miller could determine the fate of the Denver Broncos’ season.
“Does he have another dominant season in him after the recent lost years? Can he bounce back from injury and set himself up for another payday in 2022? If so, Denver will be in the wild card hunt,” La Canfora wrote.
There were serious questions if Miller would return to the Broncos after last season, but the team locked up their Super Bowl MVP for at least one more season after exercising his option.
Could Miller be the key to a Broncos wild card hunt? If there was any year to prove himself it would be this one.
Miller turned 32 in March and is fully recovered from the ankle injury that kept him out of the 2020 season.
He is the Broncos’ longest-tenured and most decorated player, but his production level has changed.
Miller received a Pro Bowl bid in 2019 despite having just eight sacks in 15 games, his lowest output other than an injury-shortened 2013.
The veteran pass rusher showed up to OTAs and minicamp looking elite and made it known that his prime has not passed him.
“It never left,” Miller said during OTAs. “I felt like last season was going to be the season, but I feel like this season is going to be a great season, too. Just refocus with that same fire and that same intensity and just grind it out. I’m still running around here beating everybody’s ass, so I feel like, 30-what? Until I see otherwise, I’m going to keep doing it and I’m going to keep going.”
Miller will no doubt go down as one of the Broncos’ all-time greats, and reaching the postseason for the first time since Super Bowl 50 could rest heavily on his shoulders.
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