Von Miller out for the season with a torn ACL

With all the fuss about Romo, let's not overlook a far more impactful injury

12/24/13 in NFL   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

Lots of folks are yapping about Tony Romo and how his herniated disc makes things a lot tougher for the Cowboys moving forward. But let's be real. The Cowboys are, at best, a one-and-done team in the playoffs. And that's after making the rather bold assumption that they can beat the Eagles next Sunday.

Dec 22, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) grabs his right knee against the Houston Texans during the first half at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY SportsWhile everyone pays attention to Romo, a much bigger injury has a huge impact on a much more relevant team. Broncos linebacker Von Miller will miss the rest of the season (and postseason) due to a torn ACL, leaving the Broncos without their best defensive player and their leader on that side of the ball.

This is a huge blow to an already porous defense. Despite their AFC-best 12-3 record, the Broncos have shown some huge holes on the defensive side of the ball.

The Cowboys scored 48 points against them, the Patriots scored 34 (21 in a single quarter) and the Colts scored 39 against them. The Broncos have given up an average of 25.7 points per game, and 28.1 points against potential playoff teams. Thanks to their elite offense, they've usually managed to get away with it. But we've seen before that playoff games are often won by defense, and it's rare that an elite offense remains elite throughout the postseason. Or, even if they manage to continue putting up big point totals, like the Broncos did last year against the Ravens, a poor defense can still manage to cost them games by giving up even more points to mediocre offenses.

Von Miller's injury doesn't necessarily kill the Broncos' chances, but it definitely significantly decreases their chances of winning the Super Bowl. They would have been the prohibitive favorite to win the AFC, at the very least, and most people would give them a great chance against Seattle or whoever else comes out of the NFC. Now, with Miller out, the AFC is even more of a crapshoot than it already was, and the Broncos will have to fight just to maintain their #1 seed and home field advantage.
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