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Broncos pass-rushing duo credits Del Rio, Manning

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Broncos pass-rushing duo credits Del Rio, Manning

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) The Denver Broncos lead the NFL with 48 sacks, and all those crumpled quarterbacks in their wake can blame not only Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller but also Jack Del Rio and Peyton Manning.

Dumervil and Miller have 28 1/2 sacks, earning the league's most prolific pass-rushing tandem return trips to the Pro Bowl - although they're determined to spend all-star weekend preparing for the Super Bowl in New Orleans rather than enjoying the sand, surf and sun.

Miller's freakish athletic ability and Dumervil's extraordinarily long arms that give him built-in leverage on every tackle are two of the biggest reasons for the Broncos' league-best 10-game winning streak.

In their eyes, though, the credit for all these sacks goes to the team's two biggest offseason additions, Del Rio and Manning, who embarked on comebacks in Colorado after messy exits from their former teams.

When Manning arrived from Indianapolis in March, Miller envisioned the four-time MVP leading those famous clock-chewing drives that would allow the Broncos to turn loose their ``Orange Rush'' answer to Indy's Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis come the fourth quarter.

``We wanted to be the best together, me and Elvis, and when we picked up Peyton Manning, we knew we had a chance to get it done,'' Miller said. ``If we could get up a little bit, that allows us to do what we do best.''

When Del Rio became Denver's seventh defensive coordinator in seven seasons following his firing as Jacksonville's head coach, Dumervil imagined the former linebacker's reputed run-stuffing defenses enabling the Broncos to get after quarterbacks long before the fourth quarter rolled around.

``Peyton coming here, it was big, but if you stop the run like Jack's teams did in Jacksonville, you get a chance to rush the passer,'' Dumervil said.

Turns out both were right.

Teams no longer run roughshod over the Broncos, who rank third in the league against the run a year after ranking 22nd. They get after the quarterback better than anyone and they rank sixth against the pass after finishing 18th last year. So, it's no surprise they're rolling toward the playoffs as the Super Bowl oddsmakers' latest sweetheart.

``Von is a special talent,'' cornerback Champ Bailey said. ``You always have to know where he is. And when you find out where he is, here comes the other guy.''

Miller is just the second player since the league started tracking forced fumbles in 1994 to have a season in which he racked up at least 15 sacks, 25 tackles for loss and forced five fumbles. The only other player to do it was Dallas' DeMarcus Ware in 2008.

Dumervil leads the league with six strip-sacks, and Miller has four.

``We definitely want to rake the ball,'' Del Rio said. ``Those can be game-changing plays.''

Dumervil was the first to hug Miller, who has 17 1/2 sacks, last week when he broke his single-season franchise record of 17.

``He's a special guy,'' Dumervil said. ``If there's anybody I'd be happy and proud of for breaking the record, it would definitely be Von.''

Left tackle Ryan Clady said facing Dumervil and Miller in training camp was the best preparation he could have hoped for as he prepared to protect Manning's blind side.

``No question, going against Elvis and Von, they're great players, Pro Bowl players, and it elevates my game,'' Clady said.

``Doom & Gloom,'' as they are known, provided a taste of what was in store with 21 combined sacks last season despite playing one-armed for much of the time.

Dumervil was dogged by an injured left shoulder last year before collecting all 9 1/2 of his sacks in the final eight games. Miller, last year's Defensive Rookie of the Year, did most of his damage before playing the last two months with a cumbersome cast that covered his broken right thumb and prevented him from grabbing and shedding offensive linemen.

Miller and Dumervil were teasing each other Thursday in the locker room about selfishly stealing the other's sacks, but in truth, they appreciate having the other on the field, healthy and hearty again.

And they love having Manning and Del Rio on their side, too.

``I think the biggest thing, a lot of people don't realize, is when you stop the run, it gives you a second-and-8 or a third-and-long. In previous years, it was second-and-3, third-and-3, the ball comes out quicker, your chances of rushing is not the same,'' Dumervil said. ``So, having Peyton definitely gives you the lead more toward the end of the game, but the early first three quarters sacks come from stopping the run.''

Dumervil and Miller have both rounded out their games under Del Rio's tutelage, combining with the likes of Justin Bannan, Mitch Unrein and Kevin Vickerson to stuff ball carriers as much as they chase down QBs.

``Coach Del Rio is like a wizard,'' Miller said of the man who's moved him up and down the line, sometimes lining him up alongside Dumervil in what has to be an offensive lineman's biggest nightmare.

Others have also benefited from Del Rio's schemes. Linebacker Wesley Woodyard (5 1/2) and cornerback Chris Harris (2 1/2) have career highs in sacks, while Vickerson (2) and safety Mike Adams (1) tied their career bests, and rookie tackle Derek Wolfe has five.

Dumervil and Miller, though, have done the heavy lifting for the Broncos, whose 48 sacks are the team's most since 1999.

``I'm always patting them on the back, because without them, we'd be nothing back there,'' Bailey said of Denver's star-studded secondary. ``Those guys, they make it easier for us. It'd be a lot of work for us if they weren't getting pressure. I think that's what really makes a good secondary - is your pass rush.''

The ingredients for that superb pass rush are Dumervil, Miller, Del Rio and Manning.

Notes: The Broncos have a tough test coming up Sunday even though the Chiefs (2-13) are ranked dead last in the AP Pro32 rankings and Denver is ranked first. RB Jamaal Charles ran for 226 yards last week in a game in which the Chiefs piled up 352 yards on the Colts' backpedaling defense and still lost. ``That's a crazy kind of number on the ground in this day and age where it's a so-called passing league,'' Vickerson said. ... RG Chris Kuper (migraine, ankle) returned to practice on a limited basis. WR Brandon Stokley (thigh) also was limited.

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter:http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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How to watch Pistons at Wizards ‘Predict the Game’ broadcast

How to watch Pistons at Wizards ‘Predict the Game’ broadcast

The Washington Wizards return to Capital One Arena to host the Detroit Pistons on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at 2 p.m. 

The Wizards are hoping to not only bounce back after suffering from a tough 140-111 loss in Toronto Friday night but also to snap their losing streak at home. Monday’s game will be the Wizards last home, before hitting the road until they return home on January 30th. 

The Wizards currently lead the series 2-1, the Wizards won both matchups against the Pistons on Nov.4 and Dec. 16. However, most recently the Wizards fell short 132-102 on Dec 26th. Will the Wizards be able to win the season series on Monday?

Take your Wizards experience to the next level and get involved in the action with NBC Sports Washington's newest Predict the Game contest.

'PREDICT THE GAME' HOW TO WATCH

What is this broadcast? Predict the Game is an easy-to-enter, free contest that allows fans to predict various game and player performance outcomes through a series of approximately 12-15 questions per quarter that will appear on-screen during the alternate telecast on NBC Sports Washington Plus. Predict the Game leaderboards will be displayed at select times, and the winner of each contest will be revealed throughout the game and during NBC Sports Washington’s postgame coverage.

Where can I find it? Contest questions and leaderboards will be displayed on NBC Sports Washington Plus (Channel Finder).

Additionally, the broadcast can be streamed on desktopiOS and Android devices. 

The NBC Sports Washington Plus presentation will, for the first time, feature special hosts, who will appear at various times to address Predict the Game participants and provide contest updates, information and results. The enhanced experience will contain the majority of the same video and audio (including announcers) as the primary live-game coverage, which will be available simultaneously on NBC Sports Washington.

How do I win? Fans will earn points for both answering questions (1 point) and correct predictions (1 or 2 points, depending on the question), with the top eligible scorer at the end of each game earning or splitting the $500 prize.

Each quarter will be its own contest, with an entirely new leaderboard starting from scratch, so even if fans miss out on the start of the game there will still be plenty of time to play and win. 

Fans must enter Predict the Game, which is open to join throughout the entire game, and submit their predictions at www.nbcsportswashington.com/predict.

WIZARDS vs. PISTONS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 2:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards vs. Pistons will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Pistons on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. PISTONS TV SCHEDULE

1:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

1:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)

2:00 PM: Wizards vs. Pistons (LIVE)

4:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)

5:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

5:30 PM: Wizards Talk (LIVE)

WIZARDS 2019-20 'PREDICT THE GAME' SCHEDULE

January 6: vs Boston (7 p.m.)

January 20: vs Detroit (2 p.m.)

January 26: at Atlanta (6 p.m.)

February 3: vs Golden State (7 p.m.)

February 11: vs Chicago (7 p.m.)

February 21: vs Cleveland (7 p.m.)

February 26: vs Brooklyn (7 p.m.)

March 3: at Sacramento (10 p.m.)

March 10: vs New York (7 p.m.)

March 18: at Brooklyn (7:30 p.m.)

March 15: vs Phoenix (7 p.m.)

April 1: vs New Orleans (7 p.m.)

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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Former Raven Terrell Suggs and the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl-bound

Former Raven Terrell Suggs and the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl-bound

Terrell Suggs and the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Tennessee Titans 35-24 Sunday to advance to Super Bowl LIV in Miami. 

Suggs, who spent 16 seasons with the Ravens, will look to cement his Hall of Fame candidacy with a victory in his second Super Bowl appearance (Won SB XLVII) this time as a member of the AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Suggs departed from Baltimore before the 2019 season, signing a one-year deal with his hometown Arizona Cardinals before being waived mid-season. 

The Ravens were rumored to be interested in a reunion with their all-time leader in sacks but did not put in a claim, being last in waiver priority, and Suggs was claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs.



While the Ravens' 2019 season ended prematurely at the hands of the Titans, fans in Baltimore can take solace knowing that Suggs and the Chiefs helped bring the Titans' magical season to an end.

Suggs' accolades (2011 AP Def. Player of the Year, 2003 AP Def. Rookie of the Year, 7x Pro-Bowl, 1x All-Pro) will stand the test of time, but adding a second Super Bowl ring to his resume would make his Hall of Fame candidacy that much greater. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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