ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Of the 14 turnovers caused by Denver’s top-ranked defense, one can be counted as a true ”takeaway,” Von Miller’s takedown of Derek Carr last week.
Miller snatched the football from the quarterback’s grasp on their way to the ground. It wasn’t anything he saw on film, the way the Oakland QB holds the ball or anything like that.
”Yeah, in just that split second” Miller said he saw his opportunity. ”I’m just trying to get a sack, but as I was running and I got closer and closer, he was still holding the ball.
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”I was like, `I’ll just take the ball.”’
The astonishing play gave Denver the ball at the Raiders 16 and Brandon McManus’ field goal pulled the Broncos to 7-6 on their way to a 16-10 win that kept them unbeaten.
Miller has 52 career sacks to go with 33 at Texas A&M and dozens at DeSoto (Texas) High School, but he never had a sack-strip-snatch like this.
Still, he said it felt familiar.
”I’ve thought about that stuff many times and they said that it happens in your mind first, or whatever the saying is. I see myself doing all of that stuff all the time,” Miller said. ”He was just holding on for a split second. He was getting ready to throw it, too, so it was a pretty good play.”
Even if he has to say so himself.
Shaquil Barrett, who will start opposite Miller at Cleveland on Sunday with DeMarcus Ware out with a bad back, said Miller’s big play drew whoops and hollers in the film room this week.
”It was amazing. He got some `good jobs’ off that play,” Barrett said. ”That was a great play and we needed it. He was focused on not just getting the sack. He had the opportunity to make a bigger play and he took it.”
Along with the football.
At 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Miller is among the strongest outside linebackers in the NFL. Asked if there were any quarterbacks in the league who are stronger that him, Miller mentioned Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck as possibilities.
”I’m not going to stand here and say that I’m stronger than every quarterback in the league, but the majority of them,” Miller said. ”I’d be in trouble if I’m not.”
NOTES: LG Evan Mathis (hamstring) missed practice all week and is a game-time decision. He’d be replaced by rookie Max Garcia, who would likely rotate into the lineup even if Mathis is active, coach Gary Kubiak said. LTs Ryan Harris and Tyler Polumbus will also share snaps with Ty Sambrailo (shoulder) out for a third straight week. … With RB Juwan Thompson (hamstring) questionable, Kapri Bibbs could be promoted from the practice squad. He took snaps with the first team this week and also worked with Peyton Manning after practices. Bibbs was also the fourth-stringer at Colorado State before starring for the Rams. ”That’s what I’ve done my whole life is just been an opportunist,” he said. … WR Demaryius Thomas (neck) and CB Aqib Talib (ankle) practiced Friday for the first time all week.
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