Von Miller frustrated as Broncos eliminated once again

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Only four seasons removed from reaching the NFL mountain top and celebrating a Super Bowl championship, the Broncos find themselves once more wandering in uncertainty and wondering how to even begin making that climb yet again.

Lost in a flurry of Patrick Mahomes passing yards and Kansas City snow, the Broncos' bleak postseason hopes drifted away with a 23-3 loss to the rival Chiefs on Sunday.

"I don't know how we got to this point," Denver pass rusher Von Miller said following the defeat that mathematically eliminated the Broncos, via 9News' Mike Klis. "It's tough being where we're at. It's tough being 30 years old and go out there with whatever issues I'm dealing with and still coming up so short."

Though snowballs were plentiful on Sunday in Kansas City, the now 5-9 Broncos' chances at the postseason were still as slim as it gets, but the harsh reality upon game's end that a fourth straight season will have come and gone without a trip to the playoffs settled in, cold as the day.

"It's tough playing nine years with [defensive back] Chris Harris and dealing with these last couple [seasons] especially with the standard we had when we came into NFL," Miller said, referencing his longtime teammate who is in the last year of his contract. "We went to playoffs five years straight. I know I'm getting ahead of myself and talking about more than just a game, but this is tough."

Miller was at the forefront of a defense that keyed the Broncos' Super Bowl march, remembered by many as Peyton Manning's last ride into the sunset.

Since then, the Broncos have not returned to the playoffs and ended only one season above .500, a third consecutive losing campaign also assured in Sunday's frosty finality.

Two games remain in the first season under coach Vic Fangio, who's the third Broncos coach over the last four campaigns. Rookie Drew Lock has shown promise at the tail end of the season, but he's the third starter this season at quarterback as the organization continues its pilgrimage for a franchise signal-caller year after year.

"We tried everything on and off the field," Miller said. "We tried all different coaches, all different players. I really don't know what's going on. And if I did I would be the first to execute whatever plan it is to get everything better."

Amid a snowy backdrop on its archrival's home field, another lost season for the Broncos was punctuated. The face of the franchise, frustrated and beleaguered, was left wondering once more, wondering about questions that are still left unanswered.

"I guess it looks different from my lens," Miller said. "I'm 30 and I'll be playing nine years. I'm ready to hit the gear. I'm ready to go again. I'm ready to bring back whatever we had in the past. When we put it all out there and ... we come up short, it's definitively defeating.

"It's more than just winning and losing. It just defeats my soul."

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