After a strong regular season in which they finished 11-6 and won the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills lost a wild shootout against the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime in the divisional round.
But hopes are high for next season in upstate New York, and one reason why is the acquisition of linebacker Von Miller.
Miller was once one of the most dominant players at his position in the National Football League, having been named to six consecutive Pro Bowls and three All-Pro First Teams.
He made his legacy by earning the Super Bowl MVP award when the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in Peyton Manning‘s final game six years ago.
Miller may not be quite the force he used to be, but he will still make the Bills a beast this upcoming season.
Miller Was Big For L.A.
Miller was traded by the Broncos to the Los Angeles Rams midway through this past season for a couple of draft picks. He turned out to be the final puzzle for L.A., as it won the Super Bowl over the Cincinnati Bengals last month.
Multiple members of the Rams talked about running it back for the 2022 season, but Miller decided to move on, and he admitted it was a tough decision, but that he saw an incredible opportunity with the Bills.
“When I left Denver and I went to LA, I said I’m not going back. I said I’m not leaving,” Miller said. “And it had to be something special. It had to be the Buffalo Bills. What they’ve created here — it had to be the Bills Mafia. This environment that they’ve created here, it drawed me away from that. … But what they’re doing inside this facility, what they’re doing in this community, what they’re doing on the football field and off the football field, man, I had to be a part of that.”
— Buffalo Bills Daily (@dailybills_) March 18, 2022
Ever since he suffered a dislocated peroneal tendon that caused him to miss the entire 2020 campaign, he hasn’t been quite the same player. But he was still big for the Rams during their championship run this winter.
.@VonMiller was built for these moments.
📊 Four total tackles, sack, QB hit, forced fumble + fumble recovery vs. Tampa Bay. pic.twitter.com/cBNrcPuzwN
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 24, 2022
Von Miller’s playoff numbers are so impressive. 11 games, 8 wins, 2 rings, 10.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, 18 QB hits, 1 Super Bowl MVP.
Last season’s playoffs: 4 games, 4 sacks (2 in the Super Bowl), 6 TFLs, 6 QB hits pic.twitter.com/tpWdICjEBZ
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) March 15, 2022
The Bills already had one of the NFL’s top-ranked defenses, to go along with one of the league’s most explosive offenses. They already allowed the lowest passer rating at 65.3 this past season.
But now Miller will make that defense even more feared, just as he did with the Rams a few months ago. Many felt that their pass rush attack in ’21 was lacking, and Miller should seriously plug that hole.
Many are now picking Buffalo to win the AFC next season, even though the rest of the conference has also gotten better.
On the other hand, Miller, who got a six-year deal from the Bills, is 33 years of age. It is a legitimate question to ask whether they signed him for too long, and how much longer he will be a difference-maker.