Von’s return bigger than Peyton’s

Good Morning, Broncos fans! While tonight's biggest story from a human interest and television ratings aspect is the return of Peyton Manning to Indianapolis, the return to the field of Von Miller is a more important one for the Broncos.

Denver may be 6-0, but their pass rush has been lacking, seemingly only bearing fruit when Manning's offense has built big leads and rendered opponents one-dimensional.

Von's presence, plus the expected return to the lineup of Wesley Woodyard, and a presumably less rusty Champ Bailey, should give us our first glimpse tonight of what we've all envisioned for this Denver defense.

Miller is most often described as a top pass rusher, but the reality is that he's a devastating all-around defender, and one of the best against the run as well.

What about his attitude and maturity, though? Until this past summer, Von had seemed like the kid who said and did all the right things, and he came across as genuine. The suspension, and the circumstances that led to it, told us otherwise.

Von says he's changed/changing, but is that just more lip service?

So far, so good, according to Jason La Canfora, who cites sources at Dove Valley as having been impressed by how Miller has been handling himself.

La Canfora writes that Miller has been "more prompt and focused," is spending more time in the film room, and showing more interest in the details of the game.

One Denver source says there's even been more weight behind Von's carefully chosen words:

“He's been more focused,” said one source who has been in close contact with Miller. “He's a better listener. He's more thoughtful with his word choice. He's always been great at saying the right thing and telling you what you want to hear, especially when it comes to conditioning and diet and that stuff, but now he's actually stepping up and doing it.”

Granted, this encouraging quote could be from Von's agent, and only time and actions will provide real answers.

But at least we'll start to find out, and see Von play football tonight.

Welcome back, Von. You've been missed, 6-0 start notwithstanding.


Von Miller is quite appreciative that Peyton Manning didn't forget about him during the team's 6-0 start.

Shaun Phillips and Kevin Vickerson say bulletin-board quotes are overrated as an NFL motivator; the well-traveled Paris Lenon is a big Chicago Bulls and boxing fan.

In a terrific column, Joan Niesen discusses the many parallels between Peyton Manning and John Elway, plus their divergent relationships with the Colts organization.

Peyton Manning has been a part of many impressive streaks throughout his career.

Per FO's data, Denver's red zone offense has basically been off the charts.

Andrew Mason and Paul Klee offer their keys to a Denver win tonight.

Woody Paige predicts a 38-24 Broncos victory and continues to trot out his ultra-lame Horse Force nickname.


According to Mike Chappell, Jim Irsay had asked Peyton Manning to restructure his contract into a more incentive-laden deal prior to releasing him, and the two men's relationship began to strain when Irsay fired the Colts' strength coach.

Former GM Bill Polian claims he would have picked up Manning's $28M option and drafted Andrew Luck last year, had Irsay not fired him.

Irsay continues to insult everyone's intelligence by claiming his comments about Manning, individuality, and statistics to have been misinterpreted.

Leave it to the dummies in the press to ask Andrew Luck about winning multiple Super Bowls before he's even won a playoff game.

Mike Wells and Mike Chappell go over some keys to victory for Indianapolis.


A new (limited) study shows that the brains of retired NFLers have to work extra hard to process cognitive tasks.

Dallas is reportedly looking to trade RB DeMarco Murray.

You probably didn't need/had enough video proof to conclude that Raiders fans are idiots, but here's some more.


Matt Bowen thinks Thursday night games feature a lower quality of football, because players just don't have ample time to recover physically from Sunday's games.

Greg Cosell says the Panthers are starting again to take advantage of Cam Newton's skill set, and he doesn't see poor play on film from Denver's pass defense.

In his Sunday column, Len Pasquarelli says a dislike of Trent Richardson's entourage contributed to the Browns' decision to trade him, and he says there's a good chance Greg Schiano is fired before next season.

Doug Farrar and John Clayton offer tributes to the late Bum Phillips.

Chase Stuart checks the record books for most pick-sixes by a defensive player against a specific quarterback.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

The Lard