Even though he took chunks from the hull of Tom Brady when his Broncos met the Patriots last January, Von Miller remains very wary of the Patriots quarterback.
“His presnap vision is the best I’ve ever seen, bar none,” said Miller. “He’s able to predict your play just based off the presnap coverage. You can disguise your look all you want, but he’s still able to move guys around and forecast what’s coming. Brady almost turns the whole game into a seven-on-seven drill because of how fast he’s able to get rid of the ball.”
Continuing, Miller said, “Let’s be honest -- he hasn’t always had the best talent in the world around him. But no matter who his receivers are, his presnap adjustments set them up to excel. Let me bring it back to Madden again. Sometimes if you have the right matchups, or check into the right play based on the defense, it doesn’t matter if your receiver is a 70-overall or a 90-overall. Brady will almost always check into the play that allows his first or second reads to get open.”
While Brady took a 25-hit barrage from Miller and the Broncos in last year’s AFC Championship, he still led New England downfield in the final minute and had the offense within a two-point conversion pass of tying it up.
Miller knows one issue for the Broncos Sunday will be getting enough time to get to Brady. If the back end of the Denver defense doesn’t do its job, the ball will be out before there’s a chance to hit him.
Another? Getting New England stopped on third down. The Broncos are allowing 38 percent conversions so far this year.
“The biggest challenge in playing the Patriots is simply getting off the field,” said Miller. “You’re never worried about Brady hitting you for 70 yards, but he’ll chip away at you and keep drives alive, which wears you down. So if my whole game is based on an explosive first step, that’s a problem. Getting a consistent first step on a 15-play drive is pretty much impossible.”
After last January, don’t expect Brady to feel too badly if Miller’s the one feeling rundown after this one.