Von Miller offers bold prediction for Broncos-Cardinals: 'We’re going to kick their ass'
The Broncos pass rusher believes they will end their four-game skid on Thursday night
Week 7's edition of "Thursday Night Football" features two teams on the path leading toward the top pick in next year's draft. Thankfully, Von Miller is here to add some drama to a game between the Cardinals and Broncos that is otherwise lacking intrigue.
On Tuesday, the Broncos' star pass rusher pretty much guaranteed a Denver win by saying twice that the Broncos will "kick" the "ass" that belongs to the Cardinals.
"I wouldn't say it's a must win, but we're going to kick their ass, though," Miller said, per ESPN's Jeff Legwold. "Make sure you put that up there. We're going to kick their ass. They're going to get our best this week. Last week was a tough week, week before that, whatever, this week, Thursday night, prime time, they're going to get the Broncos' best."
It says something that for as bad as the Broncos have been to this point, they're somehow favored by 1.5 points in a road game on a short week. Entering the game, the Cardinals are 1-5 with their only win coming against the Jimmy Garoppolo-less 49ers. The Broncos do have two wins, but those wins came during the first two weeks of the season. They've dropped four straight since.
The pressure is mounting.
"We all get it. We've lost four games in a row, everyone's frustrated, the city is on fire -- they all get it," Broncos coach Vance Joseph,, said. "We have to simply ignore the noise so we can move on, so we can fix it and win. If you live in the past, you can't move on, so we have to ignore it, go back to work and prove that we can win football games. That will stop the noise."
During their most-recent loss to the Rams, the fans at Mile High when he briefly entered the game in place of Case Keenum, who was getting checked out for a concussion. Meanwhile, Broncos general manager John Elway recently called his defense "soft." He has a point. His defense is allowing a league-worst 5.6 yards per rushing attempt. And for the record, calling a defense he built "soft" doesn't exactly reflect well upon him.
It's been a failure on both sides of the ball, which again, doesn't reflect well upon Elway. The defense can't stop the run. And the offense can't do much of anything, as Keenum (predictably) hasn't been able to replicate his success from a year ago, when he helped turn the Vikings into a near-championship team. He's tied for the league-lead in interceptions with eight, and it's not difficult to envision him getting benched for Kelly at some point in the near future. If he struggles against the Cardinals, Thursday could be his final start of the season.
The thing is, the Cardinals are actually playing better than the Broncos right now. Since inserting rookie Josh Rosen into the lineup, they've gone 1-2 while getting outscored by only three points along the way, which is progress. Their offensive coaching staff can't seem to figure out that running David Johnson up the middle is the worst way to use their supremely talented and versatile running back, but maybe this is the week they'll finally unlock him against a Broncos defense that's allowing 161.3 rushing yards per game. The Cardinals' defense remains solid, rounding out the top-10 in terms of DVOA.
I'm not certain what will happen on Thursday night, because neither team is substantially worse or better than the other, but in terms of their future outlooks, it's the Cardinals who come out ahead namely because they drafted their quarterback of the future while the Broncos passed on Rosen in order to take pass rusher Bradley Chubb. That's not to say that Chubb won't end up developing into a good player, but it does mean the Broncos still haven't solved their unending quarterback problem and as a result, will enter the offseason without any clarity at the position -- unless Kelly dazzles whenever he gets a chance to audition for next year's starting job.
Miller might be right. The Broncos might beat the Cardinals. But even if they do, their long-term outlook will remain bleaker than the Cardinals' until they draft the right quarterback.
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