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Von Miller makes push for NFL Defensive Player of Year

Every week, we break down the NFL MVP candidates on Around the League. We've had J.J. Watt atop the list lately, even though he's a defensive player, because he's had that dominant of a season.

Jeremiah: More than support
Teams can't win behind a QB alone, Daniel Jeremiah says. They need studs at other positions, like Broncos LB Von Miller. More ...

After 10 games, however, there's an argument to be made that the Houston Texans defensive end isn't even the most dominant defensive player in the league at the moment.

Marc Sessler wrote the inaugural ATL Film Room post on Von Miller because he had just completed two of the most electric defensive performances of the season in back-to-back weeks.

That was before Miller racked up three more sacks, two more tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and seven tackles against the San Diego Chargers. The totals from the Denver Broncos linebacker's last three games are outrageous: Seven sacks, nine tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, and six more official "quarterback hits."

This is Lawrence Taylor in his prime-type stuff. As dominant as Peyton Manning has been on offense the last three weeks, that's how good Miller has been on Denver's defense. Watt had another big performance Sunday (eight tackles, three QB hits, one sack, two tackles for loss and a pass defensed against the Jacksonville Jaguars), but Miller has the momentum.

"I think it's the best Denver defense I've seen since I've been playing," Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said after the game, via CBS Sports.

It all comes back to Miller. The Broncos' defense forced eight punts in the first half alone. The Chargers got 17 drives in the game, which is a monstrous total. The first 12 drives ended with 10 punts and two turnovers. None of them went over 15 yards!

Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman will have something to say about the race on "Monday Night Football," but the Defensive Player of the Year is turning into a two-man race.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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