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Von Miller, Broncos back 'kick their (butts)' prediction

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Von Miller declared earlier in the week, "we're going to kick their ass" in reference to Thursday night's tilt versus the Arizona Cardinals.

Then the pass rusher went out and backed up his prediction in a 45-10 rout.

Miller helped a Broncos defense that harassed rookie quarterback Josh Rosen into five turnovers, including two pick-sixes, and six sacks. By himself, Miller compiled two sacks, four quarterback hits, 10 QB pressures (third most in a single game this season, per Next Gen Stats), two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

"Honestly, it wasn't even for the Cardinals," Miller said of his early-week comments following Thursday's win, via the team's official website. "It was for my teammates. It was just to put us in that mentality [of] ain't no backing down now. I think we have a great football team. We have great leadership: great GM, great owner, great coaches. We've got great players. And I just thought what we were missing is the confidence part of it. I thought about it. That's not even like me. That's not like me.

"But I thought it was the best thing to do to get my teammates going, and it's great. It worked."

It turns out Miller's "kick their asses" comment came with the blessings of his teammates.

"Before he said it, ... he said, 'If I say this, are y'all going to have my back? Are we really going to go out there and do it?'" Bradley Roby said. "And we said, 'Yeah, we got you, we got you.' So when he said it, stuck his neck out there, we backed him up. That's what you've got to do as a team."

Back Miller up they did indeed.

Thursday's game was a thorough butt whooping by a previously maligned defense.

After becoming the first team in NFL history to allow an individual 200-plus yard rusher in back-to-back games, the Broncos allowed just 69 rush yards to the Cardinals. Denver's D also had its most takeaways (five) in a game since Week 2, 2015 versus Kansas City.

"Obviously Von had some comments earlier in the week about guaranteeing a win, but easy to say, hard to do," coach Vance Joseph said. "I was proud of how he played tonight. You can speak those words, but you've got to back them up. He did that today. His teammates also backed him up."

The Broncos got up big early and could unleash fire on Rosen in the form of the pass-rush tandem of Miller and rookie Bradley Chubb (combined for four sacks).

"That's our formula," cornerback Chris Harris said. "If we get up on teams, we can turn the dogs loose. That's how we're built."

The blowout win comes with a caveat: It was against perhaps the worst team in the NFL, with a rookie quarterback making his first primetime start. Rosen got rattled early and the rest of the game spiraled.

Credit Miller and his cohorts for taking advantage of a road game versus an inferior opponent. Sometimes in matchups like these teams play down to their competition. Not the Broncos on this night.

Thursday showed the formula the Broncos need to win.

The question for Joseph, Miller, et al. is can they sustain it against actual good teams?

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