Six Super Bowls ago, Von Miller stepped onto the field in Santa Clara with a killer’s focus. In the game, he just about single-handedly scored a touchdown, catapulting the Denver Broncos to go up 10 points against the Carolina Panthers.
As the game went on, DeMarcus Ware and Miller terrorized Cam Newton in the pocket, forcing another fumble. Thanks to the two, the Broncos’ middling offense only needed to not implode. Six Super Bowls later, with Miller gearing up for another shot at the Lombardi, will he and Aaron Donald portray the same spirit of Miller and Ware on that day?
Will Miller And Donald Resemble Miller And Ware From Super Bowl 50?
First, there are some differences to get out of the way. Miller is six years older and well beyond the age of 30 at almost 33 years of age. Aaron Donald is also 30 years old. Back in Super Bowl 50, Miller was 26 years old and Ware was 33 years old. The average age of the Broncos duo was 29.5. The average age of the Miller-Donald duo is 31 years old. While the average age of both duos is close, detractors would be the first to point out that this duo is well over the age of 30.
The other big difference between the two duos is that the Ware-Miller duo was made up of two linebackers. This duo is made up between an outside linebacker and a defensive tackle. While both positions are heavy pass rushers, the number of rushes per game is different.
Will The Rams Duo Be Better Or Worse Than The Broncos Duo?
Put simply, the odds of the Rams getting a Miller-Ware performance out of the Miller-Donald duo could be higher than it was back at the end of the 2015 NFL season. While Ware and Miller had coverage duties to dilute their pass rush opportunities, Donald will be effectively rushing the passer on every down he’s in the game. Meaning, the duo will have even more opportunities than in Super Bowl 50 to get to the quarterback.
In Super Bowl 50, Miller and Ware combined for 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and 11 total tackles. For Miller and Donald to match those numbers, they are going to need to average about a sack per quarter and one fumble per half. For the two, it doesn’t seem too far out of reach. They’re also going to get help from the Cincinnati Bengals struggling offensive line.Against the Tennessee Titans, the Bengals allowed nine sacks. Considering the Rams have arguably three times the pass rush of the Titans, they could go to work against the Bengals in a big way. If Miller can get to Joe Burrow, he could force even more fumbles than he did against Newton in Super Bowl 50, giving the explosive Rams offense the ball. Put simply, if Miller and Donald have a big day, the Rams could win this game in a similar fashion to the Super Bowl 48 blowout that Miller was on the wrong side of back in 2013.
If the Rams offense plays at a level they’ve shown to be able to and the pass rush can force turnovers, the Rams could effectively end the game by halftime. Also, with an extra week to let the nerves erode for the Cincinnati Bengals, who have a roster of players who have never experienced a moment like this, the Rams are the team better equipped to pull out a win.
That said, the Bengals have upset every team en route to this moment. The Philadelphia Eagles proved that a certain fire can upset even the biggest opponents. Are the Bengals that team, or will the Rams take care of business in their best chance at a Super Bowl since losing to the New England Patriots?